Always the same and yet always different

Published on 28.12.2011 - Acciona Windpower Antarctica 90°S

Finally someone is speaking about the monotony of these icy white landscapes that cover Antarctica. His name is Javier Selva and he is one of the teammates of Ramón Larramendi.

The color of white is not always the same...

He is not only a teammate but also and above all the photographer of the expedition.

And when a reknown photographer speaks about the colors of the white and applies this to the immensity of the 6th Continent, it becomes acquite interesting page : "... We spend hours on end steering this machine across the enormous expanses of white, across a landscape that is always the same yet always different. Heraclitus said the same about rivers: there’s always water, but it’s never the same…"

"Lost in these and other equally exotic thoughts I watch the surface of the ice as it moves alongside our catamaran. I’ve learnt to tell the time of day according to the color of the temperature of the snow. Photographers who’ve attended my workshops know what I’m talking about: color is what breaks up the monotony of the apparently uniform white of the enormous icy wastes. The color is not always the same and the surface of the ice varies too. We go from a smooth and kindly surface to stretches of sastrugis (a Russian term for the rock-solid waves of ice) that are a real obstacle course and stretch the sled and its sleeping passengers (those who are lucky enough to get any sleep) to its limits...."

They almost lost a kite...

As far as the progression is concerned, Larramendi and team are travelling at the pace they expected. The big surprise is that the vehicle which came out from the imagination and determination of a crazy visionary called Ramón Larramendi is proving itself to be a real and good long-distance runner. They have now covered more than 1000 kilometers without major problems.

On 26 December, they almost lost a kite though. When fog and blizzards suddenly walked into the backstage. The one who was in charge of steering the machine (Ignacio Oficialdegui) took the risk of leaving the carriage and armed only with a satnav and phone, he started searching the runaway kite "in the middle of the mother of all fog banks and, what do you know, I actually found it. It was like the proverbial needle and haystack, only in the dark! It might have been anywhere, even miles away, and I could have ended up lost, overcome by the total whiteness that has invaded my senses. But sometimes magic does happen, even if it means having to leave the sled first!..." (Excerpts of the 26 December).

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