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Despite its name, Crabeater seals don't eat crabs. Rather, they were poorly misnamed by early Antarctic whalers and sealers. Crabeater seals have teeth that have been adapted to eating Krill, which is the primary food source. As Crabeater seals are the most populous of all seal types on the planet, they are also, perhaps unsurpringly, the number one consumer of Krill on the planet (take that, Humpback whales!).
It's a pretty safe bet that you'll see a fair number of these seals on a trip to Antarctica. Their habitat encompasses the pack ice zone that advances and retreats throughout the year all around Antarctica. Even though they are quite numerous, it's still an incredible experience to spot them in the wild, and watch them from a Zodiac.
Only one Christmas Eve photo tonight, so let out the child within whilst you're viewing my photo.
Santa's boot was travelling alongside Danco Island as the "Akademik Ioffe" anchored for the night. It ended up nudging against another iceberg and rested there which I thought was appropriate in view of the time of year.
If you look at the band around the top of the 'boot', to me it looks like there are toys in it. Of course with the pock marks on the toe, it's a giveaway that this iceberg has rolled over at some stage, but the light and dark shaded areas on the band probably started when this iceberg broke away from something bigger.
I don't know what you can see, but in the second panel from the right, on the boot's band, I can see a face or maybe a whole form with the likeness of a donkey's head or something similar off to the left of it.
Fanciful? well, it was Christmas Eve after all, and a little bit of childhood imagination should be brought out on these occasions to enable one to live life in any imaginary way. After all, Christmas is a magical time of the year so we should soak up the joy whenever we can. At least there was no sighting of Ebenezer Scrooge that night.
"Two huskies on the dog lines at Scott Base. Once the traditional transport of Antarctica, huskies have now been replaced at most bases by a range of motorized vehicles. New Zealand is one of the dew nations which still maintains enough huskies at Scott Base to provide two sledge teams for short journeys."
This is the colour version of the same photo taken after dark in Antarctica.
I took very few shots at this hour, having scooped the cream of the light earlier on during our anchorage.
If I'm given a choice then I have to favour the panorama I'm about to upload with this photo. As I've said a couple of times before, I was fortunate with the light which varied whichever way I turned and reflections in Antarctica were sometimes incredible.
I joined up 47 RAW files in LRCC then took the file into PSCC before I cropped it etc. (I feel I get more pixels by doing it this way as I flatten the image in PS, and a layer and then warp the photo, within credible limits of course.)
After that, I save it and go back into LRCC to process it.
My method may take a bit longer but that's the way I prefer it.
I don't know why we project human emotions onto animals… I guess it is kind of fun and we can relate. Who knows if this penguin is happy. Maybe it's totally pissed of and thinking, “It's so fracking cold!” but it just looks happy and carefree. But I guess it's a pretty good lifestyle to have no real predators except the 0.01% lightning chance of getting struck by an Orca. These aren't those emperor penguins from the movie that have to stand there in a blizzard forever. They are yellow-eyed penguins that just sit around, eat fish, and steal rocks from other yellow-eyed penguins.
360° video, Icebergs of Greenland. Part I
The beauty of Greenland is best revealed from above: how else can you assess the greatness of icebergs, the strange terrain of the coast line, the vast variety of strict colors of the North. We present to you the 360 video of this magnificent ...
All of the campers were busy setting up their camp for the night. Apparently digging holes in which to place was bedding was a lot easier than in the morning when they had to fill in those same holes but the ice had hardened up with the cold.
I was told that you can name icebergs if you want to. Well, to me, that one will always be the Marianne Stressau Iceberg. The late Marianne was one of the founders of Romance Writers of Australia.
She died a few years ago and we received word of her passing during one of our conferences.
Marianne and her husband sailed to Australia on their ketch and lived aboard in Sydney Harbour for a number of years.
A number of years ago, I hired a video from the local library. It was about the time Don and Maggie McIntyre (not sure if that's the right spelling) spent 12/12 in Antarctica. When the boat sailed down to pick them up I was absolutely stoked to see Marianne pop up out of the companionway, and that's another reason I saw fit to call this heart shaped iceberg after her. As to what one does in regard to naming icebergs, I never asked but even when I have an answer this iceberg will always remind me of a gum chewing American who sailed to Oz and brightened our days.
Penguins can change their shape remarkably by stretching their necks or hunching their shoulders. This one looks short and squat with feet too big for its body. I quite like face-on shots of Chinstraps as the face marking looks like a happy smile. This was photographed near a breeding colony on the South Shetland Islands where there were still large drifts of snow present, even though it was taken in February (in the southern hemisphere February is the equivalent of August in the north.).