Two Journeys Recalled

The past couple of weeks have been very mixed for me and I have not been able to get into the book and blog as I would have liked. My brain got kinda overheated and diverted from the words. I’ve spent heaps of time working through the hundreds of photographs I’ve  scanned and now transferred from PC to my new iMac. Probably a crazy thing to undertake in the middle of a major project but I’m glad I’ve done it and  find  the transfer relatively easy. The photos I’ve scanned are all the ones I shot  in the ’68-’69 season. Most of them are the original black and white negatives and I’m impressed with how the quality has improved.  And as of today I can say there is a lot of useful stuff there. My color slides have been scanned in as well though many of them have not stood the test of time and my travelling ways. We lost a lot of slides during our time in the tropics. Mould invaded the collection and much of the emulsion has deteriorated beyond any sort of repair. Still we will have a good collection for the book.

It has been fun trying to make some organized sense out of the collection. The work left now is to catalogue for easy retrieval when I come to add illustrations to the text to make the book lively and interesting.

Seeing all the youthful faces of my  fellow OAEs (Old Antarctic Explorers) has encouraged the old memory tank to keep the fingers at the keyboard.

This is a fine collection of OAEs sitting outside in the lee of a Scott Base hut having morning coffee/tea. What you might call a rare shirtsleeve day and a chance to find some relaxation in the warm sunshine. I recall the day. It started with just a couple of blokes sunning themselves and then word quickly spread. It was a very convivial 20-30 minutes and then back to work.

Contrast that group with 40 years later and the picture I took at our first ever reunion in Christchurch, New Zealand, in October 2008. During this once in a lifetime event we all gathered at the Canterbury Museum to check over the exhibits and the memorabilia from “our day”.  The reunion was quite remarkable in that all of our core NZARP party attended with the exception of our two colleagues who had passed on and our seafaring cook who could not make it. We came from many parts of the world to attend, the NZARP summer and winter groups as well as university and work party members. It was like the intervening years had not happened. We just picked up where we left off. Most of the faces in the sunshine group are in this reunion group.

So that for me, this past week, is two journeys recalled: the original and the reunion.

(a continuing story)