224 pages, 24 illustrations
When on a whim Ginni Bazlinton signed up for a voyage to the planet's fifth largest and coldest continent she did not know what to expect. An icy wilderness governed by no nation, where virtually the only natives are penguins and seals, Antarctica was a vast unknown to her when she set off with a few fellow travellers on the rugged scientific vessel the Akademik Shokalskiy. Discoveries came thick and fast: the sheer beauty and alarming extremes of the landscape and climate – rocky voyages on dangerous seas – and the unexpected company of amazing wildlife from the legendary albatross, to huge whales, lazy seals and friendly penguins. As she learns more about the history of exploring the region, the science undertaken there and the extraordinary varied landscapes of vast mountains, rolling icebergs and sunken volcanoes childlike joy and peace gives way to deeper contemplation. For this grandmother 'from next door' her first hand encounter with a region unknown to many becomes the gateway to a profound fascination with the miracle that is Antarctica and a keener understanding of the wonder of the world itself and humanity's ambiguous role within it.
"Forty Shades [of White] is different. It is Antarctica seen through the eyes of an ordinary member of the public [...] it is a book worth reading."
– Sir Ranulph Fiennes, explorer
Foreword by Sir Ranulph Fiennes
- The land of fire
- Antarctic air and water
- Our first landing
- Antarctic fire and ice
- Deception: Hell's Gate
- Pure ice: the birth of Antarctica
- A whale of a time
- A phenomenological journey
- The Antarctic mainland
- Human endurance
- The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust
- Antarctic politics and anarchy
- Nature in eastern and western thought
- Quantum physics and vodka
- Crescendo at dawn
- The 'Screaming Sixties'
- El fin del mondo
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Brought up in the UK and Zimbabwe, Ginni Bazlinton – after a career as a professional dancer in the theatre and at the world famous Murray's Cabaret Club – commenced her world travels in earnest at the age of 52 visiting in quick succession Japan, Chile, Argentina, Patagonia and Morocco. She has taught English as a foreign language working in Portsmouth, Japan and Chile and shares her passion for Antarctica and her other experiences through teaching, writing and advocacy.