Icebergs / Follow-up: the particulars, for those who are interested

From: Jonathan Bailey ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/29/05-07:40:40 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Dear friends,

Thank you *very* much for the kind and encouraging response to my
Newfoundland iceberg images - both on list and off. You have been very
generous! It's interesting to me that so many questions I receive are about
Newfoundland and the shooting of the berg's. I thought I'd address some of
your questions on-list, as there seems to be some interest.

These images were made with a Diana plastic camera: 120 roll film negatives
are ~1.75 x 1.75 square (developed by Gary Hall, one of our list members, in
pyro - a very good decision, BTW). I traveled with seven of my favorite
Dianas in a Pelican case. And, this number was well suited to one complete
transit of most of the bergs I encountered. I then stopped and reloaded -
and retaped - all the cameras after each circuit around an iceberg.

I used all manner of craft to get closer to the ice. Arranging boats was a
significant part of the project - sometimes there were organized tour boats.
But, I used everything from row boats to inflatable Zodiacs to get a closer
look. The ice was frequently unstable and dropping large (and small) chunks
into the water - or rolling and shifting in the water. I brought my dive
gear and camera (not a Diana!) in the hopes of making underwater images. But
that proved elusive - at least for this trip. Without local knowledge it's
too dangerous to dive on them unguided.

One berg in particular was dropping sheets of ice with incredibly loud
reports - like a howitzer firing. So loud was the noise I dropped to my
knees on the beach in surprise when I first came up to it. This was after
walking nearly a mile in the drizzle through back (and front) yards to get a
look. It was more a "felt" thing than a noise (see Iceberg #6, Anson Cove).
We never ventured too close to the more unstable icebergs - perhaps 50-100
yards. The smaller more stable ice we could approach more closely.

There was frequently small ice ("bergy bits") floating around the bergs.
Pick some up and put it in fresh water - it *sizzles* like dry-ice as it
releases the trapped air within the ice (compressed with the pressure and
age). Very impressive! Someone is marketing "bergy vodka", BTW.

Weather in Newfoundland is extremely variable. I was there in June: very
long days; often (usually) windy; daytime temps in the 50's or so; alot of
gray and drizzle while I was there; always chilly near the ice; frequent
whale sightings - not unusual to see Humpbacks breaching; Ice was sometimes
right on the shore (it gets very deep very fast!), sometimes a couple miles
off; the ice might change significantly from morning to afternoon - rolling
or shifting, and moving with the currents and winds. The ice is nearly
always sitting on the bottom - often in 150-250' of water. It's always an
"event" to approach an iceberg....

Thanks for your interest! I'd be happy to address any other questions you
might have!

Best - Jon
Tenants Harbor, Maine
Received on Fri Jul 29 19:40:55 2005

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