SUSSEX Inlet doctor Graham Morgan’s stunning images from a recent expedition to Antarctica offer a glimpse into a magical world only a lucky few see firsthand.
Dr Morgan, who has been a GP in Sussex Inlet for 30 years, has just returned from a trip to Antarctica, bringing with him some beautiful photographic memories.
He and his wife Noella left Ushuaia on January 16 to start their five-week journey into another world.
“We glimpsed our first sight of Antarctica in the Gerlache Strait, and spotted our first iceberg surrounded by black volcanic cliffs,” Dr Morgan said.
The small ship the Morgans were on was soon travelling through pack ice, where the passengers saw many different species of seals and whales.
They then travelled on through the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas towards Ross Island, following a similar course to polar icons Scott and Shackleton.
So captivated by the icy continent, its wildlife and its silence, the pair have been four times since 2006.
“It truly is that deep silence that draws me back,” Dr Morgan said.
“It is an amazing quiet, a silence that only Antarctica has.
“It’s pretty much untouched, apart from the Antarctic bases and there’s a lot of space in between those.
“It is amazing to go somewhere that no one else has been, and to interact with the wildlife.”
The Morgans are keen photographers and photographing wildlife is something Dr Morgan adores.
“It’s a real privilege to be able to get up close and personal with these animals.
“They don’t have any land predators, so they are not afraid, it’s just a matter of staying still and provided you position yourself properly they might even sit on you.
“There are rules, we can’t approach wildlife any closer than five metres, but the animals clearly haven’t read the rules,” Dr Morgan said.
Mrs Morgan said the wildlife was a major drawcard for her.
“You don’t see animals or landscapes like it anywhere else. It’s pristine, it’s beauty.
“It won’t be long before we are back,” she said.
Dr Morgan noted in his diary:
“Arriving at Cape Evans and Scott’s Terra Nova Hut in another blizzard, it’s cold, minus 31 degrees with wind chill, and I’m wearing everything I have with me.
“The constant light reminds me that it’s still mid-summer. This is a shivering wilderness where penguins and seals thrive, little wonder it was the last continent to be explored. I can’t help but think how artificial our presence is here, we need to bring everything with us, nothing is a given in these latitudes.”