Name: Jim Mayer
Job title: Expedition Leader
1. How long ago was your first trip to the Polar Regions?
How long ago was your first trip to the Polar Regions? 25 years ago – yes I was 17 years of age!
2. What did you do before you were bitten by the ‘Polar bug’?
I don’t think there was a time before loving the polar places. But before I worked in the Arctic and Antarctic I organized large scale outside broadcasts for television, including Military events, opening of Parliaments, Royal funerals, concerts and award ceremonies.
Recce flight to plot a route through the sea ice, Ross Sea © Kim Mayer | Oceanwide Expeditions
3. What is your all-time favorite Antarctic, South Atlantic, Arctic or North Atlantic destination?
That’s a hard question. It is the challenges of a destination that make it special for me. South Georgia is tricky as the wind is ferocious and fickle, but the rewards of a landing are huge. In the north, I love searching for polar bears in Svalbard. They are never in the same place where you left them!
4. You’ve been on many expedition trips. Does it ever get boring?
5. What do you love most about being an expedition leader / guide?
The immediateness of the work. It right here and now. There is no later, because the wildlife, weather, ice, landscape is only in front of us at the moment, and it will have changed in a few seconds.
6. What was the best photo you have taken during your Polar trips?
I’m not a photographer. Pictures don’t matter to me. I don’t take many because I don’t know what to do with them afterwards. I like not to have my experiences framed, set to a certain aspect ratio or with a defined depth of field. It’s too many boundaries and the places we visit can’t be fenced in like that.
Jim at work at Cape Washington, Ross Sea © Jim Mayer | Oceanwide Expeditions
7. If you could give a travel tip to a first time Arctic / Antarctic traveler, what would it be?
Go slowly; you’ll see more. Rushing to squeeze in another view point means you’ll end up experiencing less.