During the second Homeward Bound voyage we’re bringing you stories from the ship of more than 20 of the participants, plus members of the leadership team, in their words and pictures.
TeamHB2018 are now deep into their learning program and into the remote Antarctic environment. Witnessing such isolated and beautiful landscapes at a time when the participants themselves are experiencing transformational change is a powerful reminder of our connection to mother nature.
Our next HB Correspondent, PhD Candidate Wing Chan, has been in love with the environment since she was young. She speaks joyfully here of her experience of the voyage so far and how she found her purpose in life through the majesty of Mother Nature.
My first encounter with Antarctica was very much like my first encounter with coral reefs.
I was a teenager when I first dived in a reef. As I jumped into the water, stunning colours and gorgeous marine life beyond my wildest imagination appeared in front of my eyes. I was blown away. Many years have passed, but I still vividly remember that pure joy and excitement. Ever since then I’ve know that my passion in life is to protect this fascinating ecosystem – and it’s what I still do today.
On this Homeward Bound journey, my heart has been deeply moved again. During our landing on Danco Island (on my birthday, by the way), a pair of Gentoo penguin chicks hopped on my gumboots to check me out. In Antarctica, how wonderful and rare it is that humans and wildlife can have such trust in one other to stay close without threat.
The following day, Weddell seals and leopard seals appeared on icebergs of amazing shapes and colours, floating past the ship. The same night, I was standing at the bow of the ship when four humpback whales swam by less than a meter away, feeding on krill in a dramatic display of collaborative foraging. These moments deprived me of words. I am so deeply in love with Antarctica.
There is also something special about Mother Nature that I’ve noticed on this voyage. She connects us across languages and cultures. She touches our hearts and souls.
There is nothing more privileged in life than doing what you are passionate about every day. The greatest gift Mother Nature has given me is my purpose in life. If you have not found yours yet, may Mother Nature guide you there.
As a species, humans have caused terrible destruction to Mother Nature. If we all allowed Mother Nature to touch our hearts, connect us across cultures and inform our decisions, would our planet Earth be different?
Wing Chan is a PhD Candidate at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and University of Melbourne
International Student of the Year of Victoria (Research)
Helicopter Pilot, Philip Island Helicopters