The Last Descent

Today, I entered the portal into the glowing sea ice underworld for one last time. It was fitting that my last time doing so was at the Jetty – the site where it all started. It was difficult knowing that this was likely not only the last time for this season, but perhaps the last time in my life. The opportunity to see the beautiful things we’ve shared with you on this blog is something I will never forget. I hope that through the imagery and blogs we’ve captured during our time here, we’ve been able to convey to you what a magical place this is and how important these habitats are – for their role in the larger Antarctic ecosystem, for what they enable us to learn, and for their inherent fascinating beauty.

On this last dive, I chose to dedicate my time toward capturing better versions of some of the earlier images I think best describe this beautiful place. At the Jetty in particular, one of the most characteristic, but difficult-to-capture features of a dive has been light and the lack thereof. The contrast between dark shadows and glowing ceilings. The brilliance of each animal that we are able to give a moment in the spotlight. Each time I plunged into the world below the Jetty, it was into darkness. It takes a bit, as you blink your eyes and adjust your gear, to orient yourself to your surroundings. And each time it was the glow of the cracks surrounding the Jetty that helped me to figure out where I was. Here, I did my best to capture that glow and the beauty below it, illuminated with the help of our comparatively small lights. I hope that through our pictures, you’re able to feel like you were almost here too.

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