I recently started working with Chris Marquardt on his podcast Curiously Polar. I met him, when he joined on our cruises on m/v Togo for two photography workshops. On our trip along the Lofoten islands, we took some time to talk about sea ice. The setting could not have been nicer as the sun is shining while we were strolling through the fishing village Henningsvær. After some rough days with quite a swell for a small vessel like Togo, it felt good to spend the day on land with some sunshine. The village seems still in hibernation with the exception of one or two shops, as well as a little bakery.
After first using the surroundings of Henningsvær to take a few photos, we sat in the bakery to discuss the project Curiously Polar. I like the idea behind the podcast and I am glad I found someone who is as curious as me about understand the big picture of the polar regions.
Chris is an incredible character who is not only an excellent photographer, but also a great teacher. He knows how to turn supposedly dry topics into something fun. He masters the art of simplifying complex issues in such a way that even I got the feeling of being a photography professional.
With this, his style, he also approaches the idea to me of becoming part of his podcast on the polar regions. I have always felt much more comfortable behind the camera, than in front of it and it’s the same with microphones. Before I started working as a guide and talking into a microphone pretty much every day, I did not want to hear my voice through speakers. It took a while for me to get used to my own sound. But it still is something else to talk to an audience in a controlled environment such as a coach or a small ship.
Anyway, Chris just did not have that problem. After leaving the bakery, we moved towards the harbor. And as we walk along the pier inside the island, he picks up his phone, starts recording, and talks to me as if the phone did not exist. We just changed the language.
I enjoy explaining things. It’s even more fun for me to research things. Both comes together in my job as an expedition guide when I hold lectures or discuss relevant topics with the guests on deck or in the field. Before I met Chris, it never occurred to me that a podcast works in a similar way – except that the direct contact with the audience is missing. Chris gets into this role during the recording.
Our talk about sea ice went surprisingly good and I realize that this can become something serious to me. After about fifteen minutes we are done. A few days later, the episode is already online. I am surprised at how easy it is to talk about things like sea ice and I can imagine contributing some more topics to Curiously Polar. But for now we return to the ship and head back to Tromsø, where the winter season up here in northern Norway, 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, finds its temporary end.
The last two weeks have been a successful conclusion of an amazing season. The breathtaking wildlife in incredible scenery and an almost mystical light, fantastic guests and a legendary crew make me a bit melancholy. After almost three months at a stretch, I’m also happy to come home for at least a short while. Before the next adventure is waiting.