Thursday, 12 November 2009

there she blows!

Today we steamed in a southwesterly direction from South Georgia towards the South Shetland Islands, adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula. Seas were friendly and the sun shone for most of the day, interrupted only by a brief snow storm in the morning.

The seabirds continued to be with us as we sail (for example, Giant Petrels, Albatrosses, Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels) and we have an extra passenger in the name of a Snowy Sheathbill on-board. It is quite common for this species of bird to land on ships and he/she will no doubt have company soon, as we approach the Antarctic Peninsula.

A huge highlight of the day was to sail by an enormous tabular iceberg estimated to be 17 by 12 nautical miles in size! Icebergs this size are all catalogued and are give "names"- this one is called B15I.

We had a great whale watching day with several large whales (Humpbacks?) being seen to the side and behind the vessel. In one pod we counted at least 5 animals blowing. Another highlight today was the rare sighting of a Southern Bottlenosed Whale, and not only was it sighted but one of our passengers was able to make some images of the whale and its partner.