Name: Will Gilbertson
Residence: Aberdeen, Scotland
Expertise: Diving and small boat driving, Ecology
Job title: Dive guide
1. How long ago was your first trip to the polar regions?
I have just completed my first trip, March 2015.
2. What did you do before you were bitten by the ‘Polar bug’?
I would definitely say after this trip that I have caught the “Polar bug” but for now I still have my day job as a survival instructor in Aberdeen, training offshore oil and gas workers in sea survival and safety skills.
3. What is your all-time favorite Antarctic, South Atlantic, Arctic or North Atlantic destination?
I found Port Lockroy fascinating as the human history of Antarctica has always interested me and they have a great collection in the museum. However, my favourite location was probably Neko Harbour, perhaps partly because the conditions were so perfect when we visited. Flat calm waters, a lovely beach to bring the zodiacs to and a great sunset made it feel like a very peaceful place.
4. What do you love most about being an expedition leader / guide?
I really enjoy being out in the zodiacs with the guests, particularly when we go on a cruise. There is no set route, we simply wind our way through the ice formations, admiring the scenery and wait to see what wildlife will surprise us – such as the humpbacks in the example below.
5. What was the best photo you have taken during your polar trips?
Perhaps not technically my best photograph, but one of the ones that I was most excited about. The iconic image of a humpback’s fluke coming out the water is very special to see in real life and we were lucky enough to see it several times on the one voyage. I was happy to catch this one, and also like the sunlight on the water draining off the tail.
6. If you could give a travel tip to a first time Arctic / Antarctic traveler, what would it be?
Do take lots of pictures because the stunning scenery does most of the hard work for you – but don’t live the whole trip through your viewfinder, take time to stop and appreciate where you are!