Kayaking in the Antarctic

Sophie and Ewan are professional kayak guides, and they took me for some adventure kayaking around Cuverville Island, in the Errera Channel. It was a very beautiful calm day, and we enjoy the paddle very much. The water in the Antarctic is very cold, so every body needs to use a dry suit to keep the water out if you fell in the water. Sophie was a little worried because they didn’t have a dry suit small enough for me, so I just had to make sure that I didn’t fell into the ice waters!

Ewan and Fred Sophie and Fred

I got to share a sea kayak with Ewan, and we got very close to some ice. All the ice floating in the water in the Errera Channel, by the end of the summer, is ice coming from the glaciers surrounding the channel. Also, in the cliffs of Cuverville Island there are many lichens and mosses.

Ewan and Fred kayaking.jpg

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Humpback whales

Humpback whales live all over the world, but they move around from the summer in the poles to the winter in the tropics. I met some humpback whales in the Antarctic Peninsula during my travels there, and they are some of the most gentle and curious animals I have ever seen. In the pictures you can see how one of them came to check us out on the zodiac.

Humpback whale and tourists 1

Humpback whale and tourists 2

These whales were eating tiny crustaceans called krill… there is a lot of krill in the Antarctic waters! Once the summer is over in the Antarctic, these whales will go north to warmer waters and they won’t eat for months, until next summer when they will come back to these places to find more of this krill soup. Some of the whales that visit the Antarctic Peninsula have been seen as far away as American Samoa!

Antarctic Peninsula to American Samoa - Google Maps

Humpback whales are enormous! You can differentiate them from other whale species looking at their stubby dorsal fin, their very big pectoral fins, and the shape of their tail… And they are the only whales that have knobs on their faces.¬†Each humpback whale has an unique pattern on the back of the tale, and it can be used to tell each one of them from the others.

Fred and whale - pencil

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New years eve!

December 31st 2013, 19:12

We left Stanley today, new years eve, and we are now in some rolling seas in our way to the Island of South Georgia. It’s a little foggy outside, and we don’t have right now many following birds. Tonight we have a nice new years dinner, and Katie (the historian on board) will talk about how some of the expeditions of the Antarctic heroic age spent new years eve…

The bridge of the boat is open for everybody that would like to be there watching for birds, whales, dolphins… we have to keep our eyes open and look for these amazing animals. The more you watch the more you see!

Happy new year to everyone!

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Preparing for a long journey…

IMG-20131201-WA0000

I’ll be traveling soon to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. I’ll embark the Akademik Sergey Vavilov on January 1st. The Vavilov is a Russian-flagged vessel designed for polar research, and used by One Ocean Expeditions during the Antarctic summer. We will visit many sites in South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, and I will be visiting Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina) in between trips to the Antarctic.

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