Posts Tagged ‘southern fulmar’

The Largest Iceberg Yet

February 14th, 2010 at 12:15 am (AST) by Jake Richter

After a short for some hot tea, we spotted an iceberg in the distance. We kept heading for it, but it did not seem to get any bigger. Finally it did increase in size, and we discovered that it was massive, at least in comparison to the other two icebergs we had seen up close so far during the day.

Bas observes the largest iceberg we've seen so far

Bas observes the largest iceberg we've seen so far

Up close, the iceberg's rough side, a couple hundred feet tall, is daunting

Up close, the iceberg's rough side, a couple hundred feet tall, is daunting

A southern fulmar nearly collides with me - but note the striations in the iceberg in the background - those indicate successive snow falls

A southern fulmar nearly collides with me - but note the striations in the iceberg in the background - those indicate successive snow falls

The iceberg was massive above water, but you can see it reflect turquoise light below water too - it's even more massive under the water line

The iceberg was massive above water, but you can see it reflect turquoise light below water too - it's even more massive under the water line

The obligatory sunset shot, but of an iceberg (and it's not really sunset yet either)

The obligatory sunset shot, but of an iceberg (and it's not really sunset yet either)

 

The Southern Fulmar

February 13th, 2010 at 11:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

The southern fulmar is one of a number of species of seabirds in the Antarctic region. This one was part of large flock flying past the bow of the National Geographic Explorer.

A southern fulmar flies past our vessel

A southern fulmar flies past our vessel

The southern fulmar in mid-stroke

The southern fulmar in mid-stroke

 

Jake’s Take – Drake Passage – Day 2 – Part 2 – Wow!!!

February 13th, 2010 at 11:31 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After we had the gear we were taking on land tomorrow disinfected and vacuumed as necessary, around 3:30pm today, we were told over the announcement system that there was an iceberg ahead.

Getting our protective gear – which includes great parkas supplied by Lindblad and included in our tour fee, and our cameras, we headed out to the bow to see if we could take any decent photos.

The next two hours were spent out in the cold (about 40 degrees Fahrenheit) taking photo after photo of each new wondrous thing that appeared, roughly in the following order:

– A large iceberg with a colony of chinstrap penguins on it

– Part of said iceberg coming off with a very loud cracking/gunshot sort of sound

– An Antarctic fur seal

– A large pod of fin whales – among the largest mammals on earth – feeding near the surface and constantly blowing, at a distance reminding us of the synchronized water fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

– A humpback whale that stayed near the boat for about 20 minutes, giving us wonderful photo opportunities, time and time again

– Southern fulmars flying by in countless numbers

– And, last but not least – a massive iceberg which showed us how high swells could get here at the southern end of the Drake Passage by virtue of a smooth, washed down face contrasted with a rough rear face. And it also showed us the striations formed by the hundreds of snow falls necessary to build the iceberg to its massive size.

There are a large number of pictures representing all of the above – I managed to cull down about 600 photos to less than 30, but in order to present them in more manageable chunks, I will post each of the itemized list items above as a separate post.

But first, below are a few of the humans watching these beautiful nature moments.

Passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer hoping to spot more marine mammals

Passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer hoping to spot more marine mammals

Photographers shooting whale images aboard the National Geographic Explorer

Photographers shooting whale images aboard the National Geographic Explorer

Explorer Jake, ready for anything

Explorer Jake, ready for anything

We should be making it to Marguerite Bay tomorrow, below Adelaide Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. We are curious how that will all compare to the amazing display of wildlife and nature we experienced today.