University of Chichester graduate Ginni Bazlinton has captured her icy travels in her new book Forty Shades of White: My Amazing Antarctic Journey.
When Ginni signed up for a voyage to the planet’s fifth-largest continent, she did not know what to expect.
An icy wilderness governed by no nation, where most of the natives are penguins and seals, Antarctica was a vast unknown to her when she set off on the rugged scientific vessel, the Akademik Shokalskiy. Discoveries came thick and fast: the beauty and alarming extremes of landscape and climate, rocky voyages on dangerous seas and the amazing wildlife.
As she learnt more about the history of exploring the region, the science undertaken there and the importance of its pure environment of rolling icebergs and sunken volcanoes, she says childlike joy gave way to deeper contemplation.
‘As a place, it is just absolutely unique. Nobody owns it. Nobody has any sovereignty over it. It is so remote and so unspoilt. It’s like a completely different world where penguins will come and sit in your lap. You are not allowed to take anything away or harm it. You take away only your memories and your photos, and I think visiting it for most people is actually life-changing.
‘It feels like you are on another planet. Time doesn’t exist. You are lost in time, and it feels very uplifting and also very humbling. It’s just a unique feeling that I have never, ever had before.
She added: ‘I have travelled to all seven continents but nothing has given me the feeling I had in Antarctica. It’s the naturalness and the uniqueness.’
Ginny kept a journal every day and was prompted to write a book.
‘When I got home, I just felt so strongly about the place that I started writing. I am not sure what my intention was when I started writing it. I just wanted to write. The result is the story of my travels in Antarctica.’
Brought up in Zimbabwe, Ginni began her world travels in earnest after a career as a professional dancer.
She has taught English as a foreign language, working in Portsmouth, Japan and Chile and shares her passion for travel through teaching, writing and advocacy.