My dear friend Frank . . .

_mg_4781We bow our heads respectfully and with abundant sorrow — penguins, penguin-lovers, and all of us who knew Frank Todd and who are and will be indescribably saddened by news of his passing.

Frank was a dear, life-long friend and the one who singularly molded and nurtured my love for penguins and Antarctica.

Vividly, I recall every second of that snowy, 30-knot windy day, 34 years ago, when he personally introduced me to my very first penguin — a snarling, unbelievably loud, and cantankerous chinstrap penguin on the gravel beach at Entrance Point, Deception Island, in the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was the first of my many moments learning from the master. Frank not only mentored me, he mentored a huge cohort of us who came to believe deeply, as he did, in these amazing creatures as indicators of ocean, environmental, and planetary health.

Frank once told me of his hope that:

” . . . good sense will prevail, and that these wonderful animals will be preserved for future generations to marvel at. Most people acknowledge that they will never see penguins in the wild. But just knowing that they are there is enough.”

Frank helped spread the joy of penguins via the Penguin Encounter exhibit he planned and developed at Sea World, and by connecting with thousands of Antarctic visitors onboard a host of Antarctic expedition vessels over more than three decades.

Frank was my inspiration and he never stopped fighting for what he believed in — and for his life. I will miss him immensely. And not stop thinking about him.

. . . Ron Naveen