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Antarctica

Antarctica

March 6th to 23rd 2009

This cruise organized by Swan Hellenic was entitled 'Cape to Cape' as it started in Ushuaia (Argentina) nearest town to Cape Horn and finished in Cape Town nearest town to the Cape of Good Hope.

For more photographs of Birds try Birds of Oceans and Poles

For the original Flikr page please link to Antarctica 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Journey

We left about 2130 on March 6th from Ushuaia and by the next morning we were off Cape Horn.  Drakes passage notorious for its bad weather was Drakes Pond and over the next few days we sailed across the waters searching for wildlife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the wildlife seen across Drakes Passage on our way to Half Moon Island

Grey-headed Albatross

 

Wandering Albatross

 

Wandering Albatross

 

Wandering Albatross

 

Black-browed Albatross

 

Wandering Albatross

 

Black-browed Albatross

 

Giant Petrel

 

Giant Petrel

 

Early on March 9th we anchored off Half Moon Bay and took to the zodiacs to reach the shore.  It was still early morning when I arrived and the light was not good but we soon walked over to where the Chinstrap Penguins were standing around molting.  There were many young Fur Seals playing along the beach and an odd Gentoo Penguin.  The Brown Skuas were busy fighting over food.  After a stroll along the beach it was time, all too soon, to make our way back to the ship.

Rob on Half Moon Island

with Whale jaw bone

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Rob on Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Half Moon Island

 

Returning to Minerva

Half Moon Island

   

Wildlife

Brown Skua

 

Atlantic Fur Seal

 

Brown Skuas

 

Atlantic Fur Seal

 

Atlantic Fur Seal

 

Atlantic Fur Seal

 

Chinstrap penguin

 

Chinstrap penguin

 

Chinstrap penguin

 

Imperial Blue-eyed Shag

 

Imperial Blue-eyed Shag

 

 

 

After lifting the anchor we sailed alongside Livingstone Island viewing the majestic mountains covered in snow.  There was the occasional Iceberg and several sightings of Humpback Whales.

Livingstone Island

 

Livingstone Island

 

Livingstone Island

 

Livingstone Island

 

Livingstone Island

 

Hump Back Whale

 

Hump Back Whale

 

Towards the end of the afternoon the weather deteriorated as we tried to enter Neptune's Bellows on Deception Island. 

Neptune's Bellows

 

Neptune's Bellows

 

Neptune's Bellows

 

The next morning, March 10th, we arrived at Elephant Island the place where Shackleton and his men set foot on land for the first time in 497 days.  We were able to get in close to Point Wild where some of Shackleton's men waited for the 'Boss' to return and rescue them.  There is a small bronze bust of the captain of the Chilean Navy ship who lead the rescue.

Point Wild

 

Point Wild

 

Point Wild

 

Point Wild

 

Elephant Island

 

Point Wild

 

Snowy Sheathbill

 

Snowy Sheathbill

 

 

 

We left Elephant Island for South Georgia a voyage which would take us 2 days but which took Shackleton 18 days.

Cape Petrel

 

Soft-plumaged Petrel

 

Cape Petrel

 

Light-mantled

Sooty Albatross

Light-mantled

Sooty Albatross

Light-mantled

Sooty Albatross

Fairy Prion

 

Greater Shearwater

 

Greater Shearwater

 

Greater Shearwater

 

Greater Shearwater

 

Greater Shearwater

 

We arrived in South Georgia on March 13th.  A very pleasant day as we landed close to the Whalers Cemetery from our Zodiacs.  King and Gentoo penguins were there to greet us along with some cheeky juvenile fur seals.  We were able to walk up to a lake where the surface was very flat before descending to Grytviken to see the old whaling station, museum and post office.

South Georgia - Elsehul Bay

Elsehul Harbour

South Georgia

Elsehul Harbour

South Georgia

Elsehul Harbour

South Georgia

South Georgia - Grytviken

Shackleton's Grave

 

Nordenskjold Glacier

 

Shackleton's Grave

 

Nordenskjold Glacier

 

Minerva

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Old Whaler

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Museum

 

Shackleton's Grave

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Grytviken

 

Cunberland East Bay

 

Grytviken

 

King Penguin

 

King Penguin

 

King Penguins

 

Gentoo Penguin

 

Gentoo Penguin

 

Gentoo Penguin

 

Gentoo Penguin

 

South Georgian Shag

 

Gentoo Penguin

 

Icebergs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six nights later we arrived at Tristan da Cunha passing Nightingale Island on the way.  The swell was too great for us to land at Tristan da Cunha but the local shop keepers came on board and the Antarctic Terns gave a splendid display from the aft of the ship.

Nightingale Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tristan da Cunha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Antarctic Tern

 

Atlantic Petrel

 

Broad-billed Prion

 

Shy Albatross

 

Broad-billed Prion

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Broad-billed Prion

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

Yellow-nosed Albatross

 

White-chinned Petrel

 

White-chinned Petrel

 

Four nights later we arrived off the Cape of Good Hope and sailed along the coast to Cape Town. 

Cape Fur Seal

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

Southern Right Whale

 

 

 

Cape Town

Cape Town

 

 

 

 

 

Robben Island

 

Table Mountain

 

 

 

Minerva

Minerva Gritviken

 

Returning to Minerva

 

Minerza

 

A day coach trip was made from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope and to see the African Penguins at Boulders Beach before a visit to the National Botanical Gardens at Kirstenbosch.

Swift Tern

 

Swift Terns

 

Swift Terns

 

Swift Tern

 

Cape Cormorant

 

Cape Cormorant

 

Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope

 

Cape of Good Hope

 

Cape of Good Hope

 

Cape of Good Hope

 

Cape of Good Hope

 

 

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguins

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

African Penguin

 

Kirstenbosch

        Plants of South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protea

 

Ceibo

 

       Land Birds of South Africa

Hadeda Ibis

 

Cape Robin-chat

 

Egyptian Goose

 

Ostrich

 

Helmeted Guinea Fowl

 

Hartlaob's Gull

 

Cape Wagtail

 

 

 

 

 

       Animals of South Africa

       

Rock Hyrax

 

Gemsbok

 

Rock Hyrax

 

Baboon

 

Gecko

 

 

 

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