Petermann Island & Beyond

Jan 02, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


People come to Antarctica for so many things—the lure of penguins, the hope to see humpback whales feeding in chorus, and of course the sculptures of ice. What you hope for though, is the unexpected, the rare, and the unbelievable. Today began with a landing at Petermann Island that had our guests surrounded by penguins once again, but the afternoon had us heading south toward one of the most magnificent events to witness in the Southern Ocean. A pod of killer whales chose to target a lone crabeater seal upon the ice, and with deft manoeuvres and coordinated attack they made multiple attempts to wash the seal from the ice. Though they successfully stole it from its perch over a dozen times, the seal was determined to remain among the living – leaping out of the water again and again to avoid the hungry mouths of the largest dolphin on our planet. And just when the crabeater seemed exhausted, and the killer whales rounded for the final assault—the seal managed to slip away, leaving the whales to scatter in search of the meal that got away. 

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About the Author

Paul North

Undersea Specialist

For over a decade Paul North has been exploring the marine ecosystems of our planet. Whereas most think of diving as a warm water activity, he has chosen the road less traveled–specializing in polar diving. This has provided many rare opportunities to dive and explore from the Arctic to Antarctica and many wondrous places in between.

About the Videographer

Bradford McArthur

Video Chronicler

Committed to filming isolated regions and untold stories through a message of conservation, Bradford McArthur founded Forever Exploring Productions in 2009 to help bring these stories to life.  With the vision and ability to see past surface distractions and take the story straight to the most meaningful questions, his films not only deliver beautiful imagery, but often ask the most honest question.  Why?

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