The Northwest Passage: a gorgeous lament, Frank Viva

by ABCCmain on December 19, 2012

The New Yorker, Dec 24 & 31, 2012 Cover, Frank Viva

“In recent years the fabled Northwest Passage has become more navigable because climate change has reduced the pack ice. One story in the most recent issue of The New Yorker (The World Changers issue) chronicles the voyage of an enormous ship transporting iron ore across the top of the world. Frank’s latest cover (on newsstands this week) commemorates this lamentable crossing.”

as appears in ViVa & Co. Newsletter.

Sailor’s Birthday: Bonne fête Wendy

by ABCCmain on December 12, 2012

sneak peek from The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, journal excerpts for this special day

December 11, 1995

Wendy: The ship is a big cradle rocking us to sleep. Some passengers appear only for meals and then pad back to their cabins to nap. Outside it’s just water, sky and seabirds—we’re all waiting for the first iceberg sighting. Enter calmer waters today at Deception Island, old whaling station. Desolate, beautiful and historic. I wonder about what we will find at Bellingshausen…To bed thinking of a million things, waking regularly, wondering what the continent will be like tomorrow—my birthday. First exam dream.

December 12, 1995

Wendy: Brilliant birthday. 33 candles.
8:00 a.m. wake-up. Present from Lena before I’m even out of bed and then Tomas
arrives at our door with another. Just what I need: a poster of Brad Pitt.
Sun and first landing on the continent—Neko Harbour. Built a snowman, made snow
angels, sat on a rock. So surreal—more of a monument than a place…

Argentinean guests to ship for dinner. Yummy lamb with chickpeas and sesame sauce.
Cake and champagne. Sauna & shower. This ship has all the mod cons—dried my hair
today with a blow dryer so no fear of frozen braids. Drinks at the bar and now finally to
bed.
1:00 a.m.: It’s still daylight and I like to watch the icebergs out by my porthole. Tonight
we drift; motors will start in the early a.m.

December 13, 1995
Carol: No idea of what weekday it is. A sailors’ party for Wendy’s birthday last night.
Ouch—my head…