Flanders Bay

Dec 23, 2017 - National Geographic Orion


Today we spent the day in uncharted waters. In the morning we sailed to the sea ice edge in Flanders Bay so that we could go for a walk over the sea ice and go kayaking while the sea was still so calm. The captain first pushed the bow of the ship into the sea ice so that the ship stayed stationary as the depth sounded was 450m – too deep to drop anchor. The Zodiacs and kayaks were lowered and kayaks were dragged up onto the sea ice where we then were helped into them and pushed out off of the ice. Some of us were fortunate to see minke whales gliding very close by us while in kayaks. While some of us were kayaking the rest went for a good walk over the sea ice, walking close by icebergs frozen into the sea and getting close us to crabeater seals which had hauled out for a rest.

After a quick lunch we were then back out for Zodiac cruises or a ships cruise for those who wished to stay onboard. We cruised past some incredible ice sculptures such as 15m high arches and towering floating stacks. On some of the icebergs were crabeaters taking a break through the day before going off to feed at night. Some others had Adelie and Gentoo penguins perched on them. Just as we were starting to head back to the ship two feeding humpbacks were spotted so some of us were lucky enough to have very close encounters at these enormous animals tail fluking when diving down to feed on krill.

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About the Author

Peter Webster

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

About the Videographer

Ross Weinberg

Video Chronicler

Born in Hollywood with a camera in his hand, Ross is a Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker and photographer who is inspired by a good cause and strives to raise awareness wherever he can through his pictures and films.

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