By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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Massimo Rumi, from Reggio in Italy, took the stunning images of icebergs, penguins and the desolate polar landscape during a three week sailing expedition at the end of 2015.
The Sydney-based photographer fulfilled a lifelong dream by visiting Antarctica on the nine-man, 50ft sailing yacht.
He said: “I had been to more than 100 countries but what I was really missing was a remote and almost unexplored place, where you can experience true isolation, where everything is untouched and unique and I immediately thought of Antarctica.
“I did some research, looking for something different than the big cruise-ships where you find yourself with hundreds of people and you do not have much flexibility and freedom of movement.
“But then I came across a photographer who was organising a photo tour on board a small sailing yacht for only nine people including the crew."
Massimo was the only passenger who managed to avoid motion sickness during the crossing of the Drake Passage - deemed 'the world’s most dangerous sea’.
However, he did face his own person battles with claustrophobia while having to sleep in one of the yacht’s tiny bunk beds.
He said: “I was the only one not to experience motion sickness during the Drake crossing, but being claustrophobic I did struggle to sleep in the bunk.
“It took me some time to adapt to the small confined place of a sail boat as my only sailing experience was in larger boats, in warm weather, and for only few days.
"In this situation we were nine people, in freezing cold weather, with no shower for three weeks, with almost 20 hours of sunlight, strong winds and big waves.”
Antarctica has never been permanently occupied by man and is only accessible from November to March. It has no towns, no villages, no habitation - bar the odd research station.
Massimo said: “Every single day was overwhelming. The mindfulness I have experienced in Antarctica was nothing like any other trip in my life.
"I guess our mind is not prepared for what you see there. It has a way of changing you. It’s a place of incredible beauty and teeming wildlife.
“A special moment was when we crossed the Polar Front and we started to see our first icebergs. No photographs can prepare the mind for this spectacle.
"Electric blue to dazzling white, the icebergs come sculpted by the sea and the sun into an amazing variety of shapes.”
With temperatures dipping to a bitterly cold -10 degrees celsius even during Antarctica’s summer season, Massimo’s main worry was having equipment capable of withstanding the extreme cold.
He added: “As a photographer my main worry was about having the right photo equipment with plenty of memory cards and batteries, and more than one camera body.
"You don’t want to take any risks when you go on a once in a lifetime trip.
“I took with me three camera bodies and unfortunately on my first landing my canon 70-200 lens fell off a rock and I could not use it anymore. It was the only tele lens I had with me.
“What started off as a disaster ended up actually being a good thing. I was able to take more intimate and closer shots of the wildlife and I was able to capture the mood and atmosphere of Antarctica.”
To see more of Massimo’s Antarctica adventures, visit his website at www.massimorumi.com