February 4 2015
The first whale we saw this trip was about 20 miles off the coast of the South Shetland Islands . Astrid and Alison saw during their watch a blow blown into the air in the distance and popping tail. Anyone who wanted to come out of his bed saw at the horizon hundreds of meters away indeed a whale to observe.
At that moment we were still happy with a tail in the distance; too far away to take a picture of, but clearly visible to the naked eye. Meanwhile, we are somewhat accustomed . It started during our tour with the dinghy’s from Enterprise Island. On this sunny Sunday we got a first close up of humpback whales … and what kind. While everyone was shooting plenty of pictures of the glaciers that sparkled in the sunligh , the special structure of an iceberg and the many fur seals sunbathing on the beaches, a whale was spotted in another bay. We pointed out naturally. About 6 whales spent their time here with their Sunday swim. And while one dinghy slowly went behind the other, there was suddenly a whale to the surface … about 12 feet away . He was very quiet, we looked at him also very quiet … What an immense beast ! You could almost smell his breath and almost touch his fin …
The next day we sailed further along Nansen Island. At every turn we saw whales. First two, then another one and a mile farther down three. It did not stop and we were already almost “ready” with this … until we arrived at Wilhelmina Bay. The sun was still shining and we had now really a lot of pictures of tails, fins and whale snouts. Obviously also here several whales were swimming around, meanwhile more rule than exception. It was almost a little too much.. . Left, right, near or far, wherever you saw tails up and hiding. At the bow of our ship were some people took pictures or were filming on the backdeck where the others looked around. Nobody knew which way we should look at. And suddenly there came from the bow of the Anne-Margaretha bubbles up, and right, even more, and in addition again until there was a whole circle of large bubbles coming up from the deep water. And turn from calling circle two huge whales came up. Shortly ahead, right under our noses ! So close … you could see the spots on his skin and the thickness of the tail dove gracefully down measure with a ruler. This was more than we could ever put on a picture. It’s really exciting to see such age-old animal at such a short distance.
The exiting energy then on the boat was unstoppable. Everyone was ecstatic. What an amazing time we live here all together. Antarctic nature at its best !
Meanwhile, we are anchored at Port Lockroy and again we go almost towards the Drake. Still a few days left here in Antarctica and the wind and the weather will determine our program for the next few days.
Greetings to all,