Our last land stops were Whaler’s Bay, former home to a British whaling operation, and the rarely visited Baily Head, home to 40,000 chinstrap penguins.

Whaler’s Bay

MAB_107820171217_090644~01IMG_8182

IMG_8196
This is a volcanic site so it’s a bit warmer and that’s sulfur rising from the soil. It stinks, of course.

IMG_8200

IMG_8201
As per usual, a million people surrounding one creature. Or also just seven people but you get my point.

Check out the teeth on this carnivorous leopard seal. They do attack people by the way…

MAB_1165
There are about 30 people and one pig buried in Antarctica.

MAB_1095

MAB_1153
Upon vacating the site, the Brits destroyed their own oil drums and equipment so the Germans couldn’t salvage them. #petty
MAB_1026
Volcanic rock.
MAB_1010
Elephant seal pups.

DO NO EAT OR BUY KRILL PRODUCTS. 

20171217_082543_preview
PSA: This is a krill. DO NO EAT OR BUY KRILL PRODUCTS. They do humans no good (placebo effect only) and the mass fishing of these creatures in the locations where they’re currently fished is wiping out wildlife in the Southern Oceans. In particular hundreds of thousands of penguins who rely on krill. And then every animal that relies on penguins. It’s pretty sad actually.
MAB_1003
Cruising over to Baily Head.

MAB_1176MAB_1210

Thanks to one of our kayakers (Sarah, I believe) for this amazing up-close footage of humpback whales…

IMG_8220

Baily Head

The weather conditions have to be perfect to go on land at Baily Head. As such, most of our expedition team hadn’t even been there before. So everyone was excited. The guys at Penguin Watch had been working all morning at that location and let the expedition leader know that conditions were good for everyone to visit. So we changed our plans from whatever other place we were supposed to hit that afternoon and headed for Baily Head instead.

The island is now home to 40,000 to 50,000 chinstrap penguins. But 20 years ago, the population was around 80,000 which is not good (see my note about krill farming above).

Also, I was surprised to see so much green in Antarctica! The planet is indeed warming up but I’m not gonna debate global warming here. I know people who have actual beef with the concept of global warming. It’s a curious thing. Anyway, enjoy…

MAB_1303MAB_1313MAB_1321MAB_1295

DSC_8405
Elephant seal pups are the cutest things! They’re like if cats were massive and had no ears, legs or tails.
MAB_1293
Skua. Beautiful birds. They kill penguins but such is life.

MAB_1264

MAB_1291
No one eats the feet.
MAB_1299
And penguins don’t care. They walk right over other dead penguins.

 

Goodbye to our last land stop. Back to the ship to head home.

DSC03089
Bye, whales.
Advertisements