Farthest North, Log 2: Arctic Reveal
© 2013 Mark Seth Lender
All Rights Reserved
The camera gear – all of it – has made it on board the plane. In the high regions that is not a given, so I disperse the things I need. My photo vest has a camera body in one pocket, a very bright F2.8 70-200 lens in the other, a waterproof case with 32 gig cards to keep the camera fed. In the pack has the shotgun mic, my field recorder, pounds of batteries and cables and the hydrophone. It barely squeezes under the seat – I should be sitting in the middle one where the space below the seat in front is widest – but four hours in the middles? Forget it. n yet another pocket a broadcast quality digital recorder. The recorder, a birthday present from Valerie, is for taking notes but if the primary recorder is damaged or if the most important piece of sound gear doesn’t make it. This is the parabolic stereo mic. If that bag which also has the carbon fiber tripod and all my arctic clothing is lost in transit, the pocket recorder will be the only stereo device. How it will do in the presence of the distance sound of fracturing glaciers and whatever else presents, I have no idea. But the main camera box, large, yellow, waterproof and heavy as hell, is the overhead and that is huge relief.
The 4 ½ hours of airtime goes by quickly. Out of Toronto low cumulous white out the land but just over Churchill Falls, as we cross into western Labrador, there’s a break. The land below, ground flat by glacier and patterned in reticulations of small water confirms we aren’t in Kansas anymore: this is the arctic, and we are here.