Double Heart Attack Panic Mode… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Double Heart Attack Panic Mode...

What’s Up?

I started this blog post in the lobby of the Albatross Hotel at 11:45pm on Saturday, December 13, 2014. It is two hours later in Ushuaia than in Florida. I finished an published it at 5:33am from the same spot.

Along with the rest of my shipmates I will board the Ortelius on the afternoon of 15 DEC and disembark on the morning of 9 JAN. There is no wifi on the ship. That means that I will effectively and absolutely be without internet at least from 14 DEC through 9 JAN. At present I am further behind with answering e-mails than at any time since I have began answering folks’ photography-related questions about 25 years ago.

Please therefore refrain from e-mailing me at the usual samandmayasgrandpa e-mail address until I get back home on 13 JAN. You can reach my right-hand man Jim Litzenburg by e-mail here or reach Jennifer here as usual.

Important Blog Notice

I hope to have some time before getting on the ship to prepare a few new blog posts and to have them published during my absence with the help of either Jim or the invaluable Peter Kes, the BAA webmaster. In addition, my plan is to resurrect a collection of older but important educational blog posts and have them re-published during my absence. Please enjoy. Please consider signing up for an IPT. And please continue to do a great job of using my B&H and other affiliate links while I am gone.

Double Heart Attack Panic Mode…

I was sitting in the Delta club in Atlanta with about 45 minutes till boarding time for my redeye flight to Buenos Aires when I decided to read the “Important Pre-Departure” PDF that I had gotten from Gina Barton of Cheesemans’ several months prior. Better late than never, no? Panic #1 set in when I read the following “US citizens must pay the $160 reciprocity tax online before their flights to Argentina. Yikes! I called Gina and followed the link in the PDF to the website. I filled out the online forms and paid the fee. “You must print this with the bar code to secure entry into the country.’ Yikes. More panic. A Delta agent explained that I could e-mail the form to the printer.

I unplugged my Macbook Pro, brought it over to the computer, and forwarded the form with the bar code to the printer via e-mail. When I got back to the desk that I had been working at I opened my Mac and touched touch pad. Nothing. I hit the power on button. Nothing. Hit the touch pad again and again Nothing, nothing, nothing! I hit the power button again. Nothing. Panic city. No working laptop in the face of a month long photo trip to one of the great places on the planet. Not fun. I kept pushing the power button and finally the machine re-booted. Whew. As it came on it asked my why I had turned it off. Not!

Once the laptop was up and running I received the confirmation e-mail from the printer but was unable to follow the directions and get the thing to print. Several Delta counter agents pretty much blew me off when I asked for help with the printer until a handsome young Black man walked me to the machine and, after several tries, got it to print.

By that time Gina had gotten in touch with skilled travel agent Ana Craven and asked her to call me. My cell rang and I explained the situation to her. “You should have the reciprocity fee sticker in your passport,” she said, “from the South Georgia trip two years ago.” She described it to me in detail and I was able to find it. A very nice man sitting at the work station next to me showed me the reciprocity fee sticker in his Passport and stated that since mine expired in 2021 that I was good to go. Hooray. Double panic attacks abated.

Ana kindly volunteered to try to get my fee refunded and did that successfully on Saturday evening.

“I will not be allowed to enter Argentina.” “I will not have a working laptop for the trip.” And to think that at any time I all had to do avoid the panic was to ask “Is it true? Do I know that it is absolutely true?” (See the Work of Byron Katie here. Who would you be without your story?)

I slept about six hours on the nearly ten hour redeye flight, watched the wonderful movie, “The 100 Foot Journey” for the 2nd time, got a cab to the domestic airport, found a plug, and did some work. I was so tired that I fell asleep on the stool and nearly fell off it. I grabbed a salad and met some of the folks on the trip. Fifty of the hundred participants along with several of the leaders were on the afternoon flight to Ushuaia. I slept for nearly the entire 3 1/2 our trip. Both I and my bags arrived safely at the hotel at 8pm: 32 hours from door to door. Right now I am headed to bed.

From the Blog Post of November 24, 2012

I have been sharing the video linked to below with various shipmates in the lobby. Folks need to remember to be very careful in the Southern Ocean at all times….

Zodiac Misadventure Video

As I have mentioned, a cruise to the Falklands, South Georgia, and or/Antarctica can be physically demanding, grueling at times, and dangerous at other times. Marc Lombardi,a fine and creative photographer whom I met on the recent Cheesemans’expedition, sent me a great video. As I watched it the first time, my heart was stuck in my throat. Was this guy gonna make it onto the ship or not?

You’ll want to watch it twice so click here and then when you watch it a second time, check out my commentary below.

OK. Now the details. As I watched the video a second time (it is only 1 minute, 39 seconds long) I realized that I was the guy having all the problems. Yikes!

When you are getting on or off the video, the guidelines are:

1-Never do anything until the zodiac driver tells you to go.
2-If you do not feel safe when told to go, it is OK to abort.

There are small lengths of heavy duty ropes used as handholds around the gunnels of the zodiacs. As the zodiac approaches the gangway, the seaman on the bottom platform tosses a length of rope to either the zodiac driver, or, in rougher conditions, to the seaman in the front of the zodiac. He is always dressed in a survival suit… Then either the zodiac driver or the second seaman keeps tension on the rope to hold the zodiac in place. On rough days with lots of swell, the rope can be released and then re-tightened by the person holding it to keep the zodiac safely in position.

We had landed at the spectacular St. Andrews Bay early that morning and had planned on being ashore till 7pm. Though it did not seem to have gotten any windier, we were told, at about 4pm, that the swells were getting dangerously larger and that the captain had called off the landing; everyone needed to get back to the ship now.

OK, now that the scene is set, you can watch the video again by clicking here.

At about the six second mark, expedition leader Ted Cheeseman, our Zodiac driver that day, said “Go.” I felt the zodiac began to drop and not feeling safe, decided to wait for a more opportune moment. At the 7 second mark of the video you can hear a loud pop as the handhold rope broke. That was followed by Ted’s “Yooooh.” He pushed us away from the gangway, re-started the outboard, and came around for a second approach. At the 1:08 mark Ted said “Go” again but as the zodiac dropped about 5 feet at that moment I chose to stay aboard. At the 1:24 mark I mercifully made it onto the gangway followed soon thereafter by Denise Ippolito. Whew!

As I wrote in BAA Bulletin #422, “Kudos to expedition leader Ted Cheeseman for putting together the great itinerary and pulling it off. He made several major changes due to sea conditions and all were spot on. The Cheesemans’ staff’s greatest skill is in getting folks safely in and out of the zodiacs and onto shore even in condition where most other tour companies would call it a day. In addition all were knowledgeable and helpful, and trust me, at 66 I appreciated their help.”

Thanks a stack to Marc for sharing this great video. You can see some of his great photography here. Click here to see his trip gallery. Be sure to find his Silver Grebe photos! For more trip images, these created by his life partner Elise Spata, click here.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Openings 1. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.

Here are the plans for next year: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on 28 June arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday 29 June (or simply meet us then either at the Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe. Stay 7 nights in two gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are 5 days of planned puffin/seabird trips—weather permitting, and 1 full day of gannet photography with 2 sessions on the boat.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will be staying in upscale country-side cottages that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for image sharing and Photoshop lessons. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with two roomy single beds and a private bathroom. See the single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day and a farewell fine dining thank you dinner. The cost of your National Heritage Trust is also included; that covers the twice a day landing fees.

Plan to fly home on the early morning of Monday 6 July or to continue your stay or travels.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2015.

Single Supplement Info

The single supplement is $1475. As we will be renting a third cottage the $1475 is due with your deposit and is also non-refundable.

If you are good to go please send your $2,000 deposit check now to save a spot. The balance will be due on March 29, 2015. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you cancel and the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

We do hope that you can join us.

IPT Updates

Would you like to visit some of the great bird photography locations on the planet? Would you like to learn from the best? Click here and join us.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!


Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

4 comments to Double Heart Attack Panic Mode…

  • Agreed on all counts ESP the background music! Kudos to the music director who added that artistic touch.

  • Denise looked like a gazelle leaping ! Her shipmate looked like a ________________(fill in the blank) ?
    Art will not see this until he gets back but after my wimpy zodiac landings in the Galapagos Islands I can readily understand now the difficulty !

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Agree. I watched every episode looking for my Dad when they showed ground fighting. artie

  • Jim Kranick

    Love the background music of the video. “Victory at Sea” takes me back to my childhood watching the B&W TV with it’s film of the US Navy in WW II.

    And you were victorious while at sea.