Day 5 with the Weddell Seals and Awesome Humpback Whales!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

A beautiful sight. There was also one sleeping on my left side. They eat at least 22 pounds a day!

Part Two:

Antarctica is amazing in so many different ways Weddell Seals and Awesome Humpback Whales  are a part of it. The trip felt breathlessly exciting…just going to Antarctica is a mind adventure in and of itself. The seventh continent for me, the mysterious White Continent! Seeing animals, is for me, the most incredible part of almost any trip and Antarctica has plentiful life both above, and below, the sea. On Day 5, when we were looking at the Blue Whale bones, I was made aware that two large Weddell Seals were snoozing nearby. I took a seat by the bones, as close to the seals as I could get without endangering myself or startling them, and just sat quietly, watching them. Of course, I photographed them as well, obviously!

Day 5 with the Weddell Seals and Awesome Humpback Whales!

The White Continent is number 7 for me!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

I loved watching them move.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

I loved their silvery gray fur and markings.

Ever heard of a Weddell Seal? I think they are the prettiest of the Antarctic seals…at least, the ones I saw, which were Crabeaters (who don’t eat crab), Elephant Seals (huge!), Leopard Seals and Weddells. I know there are fur seals, but I didn’t see any of them. Seals are different from sea lions though they are related…seals do not have ear flaps, they can’t “walk” around on their flippers like sea lions can, but the most beautiful difference is their vocalizations. Sea Lions bark, Weddell seals almost sing. Their vocalizations are very pretty, almost like song. A sweet difference. Check out some sea lions!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

This one was just to my left, much closer than the other.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Look at those whiskers! I wanted so badly to get closer, but I restrained myself.

 

 

 

After Port Lockroy the expedition headed toward Wilhelmina Bay, named for Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands, who reigned from 1890 to 1948. It is a 15 mile wide bay located between Reclus Peninsula and Cape Anna, along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-99 led by Adrien de Gerlache. To say this bay has spectacular scenery is an understatement. It is a popular destination for humpback whales because of its rich plankton rich upwells. We were not disappointed! We saw them quite a few times, but in the Bay, they came very close to the ship. I was on the bow, photographing them, and they actually went under the bow, coming up on the other side. This was the closest I’d ever seen their blowholes, their throats, and their blows! It was truly magical.

Two of the Humpbacks stayed very close together as you can see from the photographs! The whole ship seemed to be on the bow, either taking photographs or making loud “oooooo” and “ahhhh” sounds. Dinner that evening was loud with chatter about the Humpbacks and people running around showing off their photos. A very exciting day for the entire ship.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Look at that blowhole! So fascinating!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

So close, you could see the body underneath!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

A Humpback Whale Fluke is like a fingerprint, each unique.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

What could be better than a whale fluke? Two whale flukes!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Traveling together.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Beautiful!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Thar she blows!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Pretty fluke shot! The yellow spots are diatoms, a type of algae. They head north for winter to get rid of it, to bathe it off, so to speak.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Ready to fluke!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Waterfall!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Right below me off the bow!

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

A Humpback Whale Throat

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

Two

 

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

A Dorsal Fin on a dive

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

The Dorsal Fin.

seals, antarctica, weddell, humpbacks

A beautiful day in Wilhelmina Bay!

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life!
Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (10)

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  1. barbara free says:

    I absolutely love seeing your photo’s and the NATGEO description and education that goes along with it. What an amazing adventure you are having. I am very proud of you for restraining yourself from going over and wanting to pet the big seals 🙂

  2. Whales are truly remarkable creatures. Such an amazing presence. How lucky you are to have had this experience and all the others you have on your trips.

  3. Andi says:

    This is totally on my husband’s bucket list, something he is dying to do! The seals are absolutely gorgeous I love their markings.

  4. Oh Tam, how absolutely stunning. We just got back from Iceland and it was such a different looking country. I can’t even imagine, Antarctica, but you’ve made it so real. I have no problem putting it on my bucket list now! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. I just love them.
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  5. Amazing pictures, as always, and I am living vicariously through you. Antarctica is definitely on my bucket list!

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