(Click on any image below for a larger version)
Monday, January 22: Cape Lookout, Elephant Island, page 1
The ship hauled up its anchor and set sail for Cape Lookout on the other side of Elephant Island, where we would make our first actual landing in the Antarctic.
A Humpback Whale was spotted in the water near the ship. Captain Notke steered the ship in a circle to give the passengers a good chance to see the whale. It blew and surfaced repeatedly for several minutes.
Visit the American Cetacean Society fact sheet about the Humpback Whale.
The Marine Mammal Center also has information about the Humpback Whale.
We passed a huge glacier as we neared Cape Lookout.
The old ice at the base of the glacier was deep blue in color. The blue ice was overlain by an accumulation of white snow and young ice. The top of the glacier was a maze of crevasses.
The front of the glacier was miles across and it extended well out into the harbor.
There was a glacier in every valley on the island.
The valleys were so steep that the glaciers were broken into jumbled icefalls, slowly tumbling their way down to sea level.
Glaciers were perched on the tops of the mountains, with their broken faces suspended over a few thousand feet of steep, rocky cliffs. Any ice that broke away from those glaciers had a long drop ahead of it.
Cape Lookout is marked by a craggy, pyramid-shaped island separated from the shore by a narrow strait.
We would land on the low spit of land at the left.
The cape is the site of another large Chinstrap Penguin rookery. The lighter slopes in this picture are stained by pink Chinstrap Penguin guano.
The ship's staff prepared the Zodiacs for our first landing in Antarctica.
The Zodiac brought us to shore on a narrow, cobblestone spit connecting a rock outcrop to the main island.
The expedition members kept to a narrow path alongside the rookery.
One side of the spit was densely populated with penguins and the other side was densely populated with expedition members.
Chinstrap Penguins are easily distinguished by the narrow black stripe under the white face.
Background information about the Chinstrap Penguin.
The Chinstrap Penguin rookery was thickly coated in pink penguin guano. The constant dampness supported a thick, old fish market kind of odor.
Dirty Chinstrap Penguins were constantly waddling into the water as clean penguins were hauling themselves onto land along the spit.
The air was filled with the constant display cries of male penguins looking for mates.
Hear the Chinstrap Penguins.
"I don't know. Where do you want to go for dinner?"
Chinstrap Penguin chicks sat waiting patiently for their parents to return with food.
Chick feeding was a constant operation in the rookery. The gray chicks tickled the beaks of the adults to trigger a regurgitation of the krill stored in their crops. It was possible to see the pink, shrimp-like crustaceans come up into the mouths of the adults before the chicks reached in to grab them. Krill grow to be nearly two inches long, and large krill wouldn't look out of place on a cocktail shrimp platter.
The downy chicks accumulated a crust of guano on the lower parts of their bodies.
The Chinstrap Penguin chicks rested their heads behind their wings as they napped.
The penguins paid scant attention to the Zodiacs cruising through the strait.
The flat areas near the rocky outcrop were covered in penguins. Other penguins had to climb to higher ground to find a place to raise their chicks.
Some of them climbed several hundred feet up the slope to find their chicks.
It must take hours for some of them to climb up to their chicks on the mountainside above the cape.
Map of the Antarctic Peninsula.
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of Antarctic Landscapes.
A dozen photos of Antarctic Landscapes. Locations include:
Cape Wild and Cape Lookout on Elephant Island,
the Weddell Sea,
Neko Harbor in Andvord Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula, and
Put a copy of the Antarctic Landscapes 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of seals taken in Antarctica.
A dozen photos of seals in Antarctica. Seals pictured include:
Cape Lookout on Elephant Island
Put a copy of the Antarctic Seals 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of birds taken in the Falkland Islands and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica.
A dozen photos of birds taken in the Falkland Islands South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Birds pictured include:
Southern Giant Petrel
Black Browed Albatross
Blue-Eyed Shag (King Cormorant)
Black Crowned Night Heron
Put a copy of the Birds of the South Atlantic and Antarctica 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of penguins taken in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.
A dozen pictures of penguins taken in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Penguin species pictured include:
Locations where the photographs were taken in the Falkland Islands include:
Antarctic locations include:
Cape Lookout on Elephant Island. Put a copy of the Penguins 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
Mawson's Will : The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written (Paperback). by Lennard Bickel
Endurance : Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander
South : A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage by Ernest Henry Shackleton, Sir Ernest Shackleton
South With Endurance : Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
The South Pole by Roald E. Amundsen
The Coldest March: Scott`s Fatal Antarctic Expedition by Susan Solomon
The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration) by Roland Huntford
South: Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition (1919)
Shackleton's Boat Journey - The Story of the James Caird (1999)
Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica (1999)
The Last Place on Earth (1994)
Great Adventurers: Ernest Shackleton - To the End of the Earth (1999)
South: Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition (1919)
Send a message to Brian.