27 Jan

MIDWAY V : pre-trip check-in

Dear Friends,

Here we go again, schlepping a small mountain of photo/video/sound recording gear back out to remote postage-stamp-sized Midway Island that has captured our hearts and imaginations in its powerful vortex. This time, if all goes well, we will witness and film a beautiful sight: the hatching of 300,000 baby albatrosses from their eggs. The adult albatrosses lay their eggs right on the ground, and as you know, they have no fear of humans, so we will be able to watch the little silver fluff balls emerging from their eggs from super close up. We are decked out with high-resolution camera and film gear with close-focus lenses, and lots of umbrellas and warm clothes, as the weather on Midway this time of year is stormy, wet, and cold.

Funding-wise, for this leg of the journey we are grateful to Koerner Camera in Seattle, the Compton Family Foundation in California, the Pax Natura Foundation in Salt Lake City and Aqua Hotels in Honolulu.  And as always, big love for the fab peeps at the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the island, all of whom have gone far above and beyond with their kind support of our vision.

Our A-team this trip includes Midway veterans Jan Vozenilek (Director of Photography for the film), Joe Schweers (Lead Camera and wildlife cinematography specialist), Jim Hurst (sound engineer, jib-arm expert, camera tech, and MacGyver-of-all-trades), Victoria Jordan (team poet, line producer, and my indispensable companion and soul mate).

We’ll be on the island Feb 2-16, and we plan on making lots of short behind-the-scenes videos to share with you during this trip, so stay tuned. Wish us luck, and looking forward to checking in from Midway!





02 Apr

Midway Journey III – Poem: Courtship Medley à la Albatross

At this moment on Midway Atoll, the juvenile albatrosses are in the throes of their courtship dances. Their nonstop rave is the main source of all the buoyant motion and noise on the island as they seek a bond before flying out to sea to feed for the remainder of the summer. In this poem I’ve attempted to capture the sights and sounds of this ecstatic dancing season.

Courtship Medley à la Albatross

It begins with a prance dance,
a tiptoe head-bob waddle
and a wing fluff.  Then, fake a preen,
shake out a sideways
head-breaking shriek,
a chair-leg-floor-scrape scream,
and sidle into a crooked raga
with fast and furious tabla drums,
and applause, applause, wait –

it’s a drill-hammer fixing
a squeaky door behind the beak,
a flanking feather-grab tease
to a show of chocolate origami wings,
quick switcheroo to a bass kazoo,
throw the head up high, trumpet
to blow the clouds from the sky,
it’s a match, it’s a mate, a pact
to hatch an egg, raise a chick,

then bid adieu until next season,
dancing days forever over
in favor of a lifelong bond.

~Victoria Sloan Jordan


photo: kris krug

30 Mar

MIDWAY JOURNEY III – Open Hearts, Broken Hearts

It’s the mid-point of our current journey and Chris Jordan checks in from an albatross-covered field on Midway Atoll to share the abundant sights and sounds, as well as the realization that all albatross chicks here likely have plastic in their bellies.