26th March: Antarctica (Pleneau Island)

The wind was so wild overnight, the Polar Pioneer had to motor back and forth along the Penola Strait without being able to stop to anchor.  Around 6:30am we were able to anchor near Pleneau Island.  The elephant’s graveyard is one thing; Pleneau Island is known as the iceberg graveyard  – a giant eddy where the icebergs collect.

I felt a little cheated in a way because after struggling with clothing, 15-20kg of equipment and a dry bag, I was amongst the last to front up and so was on the convalescents’ zodiac which stayed out for a much shorter time than the rest and, for example, did not get to see a leopard seal.  Still, the views of icy seascapes were spectacular enough, as you will see.  For the most part they need little explanation.

Natural iceberg sculpture

Giant ice face

Suspended ice sculpture

Island of ice

Is it a dog or a lion or General De Gaulle?

Ice flake detail on an iceberg, looking up

Ice, texture and light

GPS location (green arrow).

Pockmarked ice gleaming in front of an approaching storm

The ship! The scale! Can you see the ship?

GPS location (Green arrow for the location of the zodiac).

Faces in the ice - and the storm is coming

Views through the ice

Iceberg and mountain

Cloud descending

Iceberg, bergy bit and mountains

Sometime around 1pm, we headed back to Vernadsky.

11 comments on “26th March: Antarctica (Pleneau Island)

  1. Marie Lisa Jose says:

    Wow! Incredible.. Someday I will follow your foot steps…
    I hope to travel to all the seven continents .
    Do keep posting.



  2. Murray Foote says:

    Thanks Lisa. I’ve got at least another 16 posts yet til I finish updating the blog.


  3. Craig Annetts says:

    I have been following your posts Murray and the shots have been fantastic and commentry very informative. I am impresed with the dynamic range you have squeezed out of the iceberg shots, I imagine hdr was not an option so it must have been careful exposure and great pp. Great work.


  4. Murray Foote says:

    Hi Craig and thanks very much.

    They are all single-image HDRs, though with minimal HDR processing. The 12-stop tonal range of the D3S may be the most important factor. Almost all of this lot were taken with the 105mm f2, usually at f8, which might be a factor as well for image quality rather than tonal range. Then there’s careful processing in Lightroom, Photoshop and perhaps Vivesa.



  5. […] 26th March: Antarctica (Pleneau Island) […]


  6. Wow! Amazing landscapes of ice!


    • Murray Foote says:

      Yes, a very special place. I think it’s in the lee of the main currents for floating ice. The ship was unloading at the Ukranian base not far away so we were able to take some extended tours in the zodiacs.


  7. Amazing photographs. Did you do any exposure compensation with all of the white in some of those scenes?


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