The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Antarctic Adventure - Day 12

The plan for November 18th was to start with an early morning landing at St. Andrews Bay, the location of the largest King Penguin colony on South Georgia Island.  But wave conditions made zodiac landings unsafe, causing the morning excursion to be aborted after just a couple of zodiacs had landed.



This is a panorama (very wide) of the penguin colony at St. Andrews Bay.  To really see this image, you may have to use this link.



After aborting the landing at St. Andrews Bay, the ship moved on down the coast to Gold Harbor for "Plan B".  Here is more scenery from South Georgia Island.



These birds are Snowy Sheathbills.  They like landing on the ship, but the crew doesn't like them because they leave lots of droppings behind.




On the way to Gold Harbor, the ship came across three Humpback Whales.



This Humpback was missing a part of one of it flukes.  It could have been the result of a Killer Whale attack.



One of the things that makes Gold Harbor very picturesque is the hanging glacier behind it.



There were still many Elephant Seals on the beach.






Many of the Elephant seals that were still there are called "weaners".  The weaners are Elephant Seal pups that had grown big enough after a month of nursing to be left on their own.  The weaners spend about another month at the rookery, learning to swim and hunt.


During our visit, the weaners seemed to be attracted to anyone willing to be their "Mom", including humans!  These 300 pound youngsters would often approach people, probably looking for Elephant Seal milk.


Here's Barbara being "adopted" by one of the weaners.




These King Penguins look like they will be happy once they have completed molting.



"Oakum Boy" juvenile King Penguins just hanging out



Or bugging a parent to feed them



Another King Penguin pair



A Gentoo Penguin



We often saw "porpoising" penguins.  This motion allows them to inhale quickly while swimming rapidly.





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