Growling whitecaps surge around serrated rocky isles.
Banks of grey cloud advance across the great Southern ocean while the wind whips through sand and hair.
Jagged rock and sand merge into a hazy horizon at the edge of the world.
A truly fearsome coastline. In the winter, eighteen metre swells smash into these reefs, whipped up to enormous heights by unabated winds streaming from the Antarctic. At these lower latitudes, the wind circles the globe unimpeded by any serious landmass. Known as ‘the roaring forties’ by sailors, this immense energy is transferred into the waves which build across thousands of kilometres of open ocean only to dash themselves on these shores.
Rock platforms abound, while any shreds of sand have been driven into narrow bays in the lee of offshore reefs and isles.
This fierceness is a good defense. Sparsely populated by boat dependent European settlers, the few contemporary settlements cling to grassy knolls above sheltered rocky inlets. Rusty steel fishing boats perch like ungainly seabirds at the head of ancient sliplines, high above the reach of the waves.
Beyond these tiny fishing settlements stretches a vast wild coastline, a true haven for flora and fauna.
It is to these shores we have travelled. Grandparents and children, amateur naturalists and professional ecologists, we have gathered together to document the diversity of this place as it exists now.