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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Arctic Reveal

Published: February 6, 2018

By Mark Seth Lender

Mark Seth Lender makes it to Greenland in his second dispatch from the arctic for Adventure Canada.

Mark Seth Lender
Blogpost #2: Arctic Reveal

The camera gear – all of it – has made it on board the plane. In the high regions that is not a given; better to disperse the things I need.

My photographer’s vest (smugglers dream of such garments as Joseph dreamed of his many – colored coat) now has a camera body in one pocket, an F2.8 70-200 lens which I cannot do without in the other, and in and inside pouch one waterproof case with four 32 gig flashcards to keep the camera fed. The blue backpack has the shotgun mic, my field recorder, pounds of batteries and cables, and the new hydrophone. In Airline Speak this is my “One Small Personal Item.” It barely squeezes under the seat - I should be sitting in the middle one where the space beneath the one in front is widest – but four hours in the middle? Forget it. The pants and shirt are not immune to gear. In a breast pocket zipped in, is a hand-held 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 and even disassembled the parabola itself though very light is too long to carry. If that checked bag it is in, 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 distant sound of fracturing glaciers and whatever else presents - no idea. But the main camera box, large, yellow, waterproof, and too heavy, is safely in the overhead and that is huge relief.

Four and a half hours of airtime goes by quickly. Out of Toronto low cumulous whiteout the land but just over Churchill Falls, as we cross into western Labrador, there’s a break. Below lies land ground flat by glacier and patterned in reticulations of small water which confirms, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

Ahead, through mist and fog, Greenland looms.

Mark Seth Lender




Back to Mark Seth Lender: Farthest North


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