Marguerite Bay

Jan 22, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


After sailing well beyond the Antarctic Circle we sailed into Marguerite Bay in the morning, sailing close by Jenny Island before heading across to Pourquoi Pas for a morning landing. Marguerite Bay is a truly spectacular bay, surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and with a very calm sea littered with icebergs large and small. The bay is sheltered by Adelaide Island, with further protection provided by the Antarctic Peninsula on the other side. Pourquoi Pas has an Adélie penguin colony nestled below a glacier and partly sheltered by the large glacial morain pushed up to one side of the now retreating glacier. For many this visit completed the three brushtail penguin sittings of the Antarctic.

By 11:30 everyone was back on board and we were steaming to our next destination—the Gullet! This is a narrow channel formed between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Peninsula and is often packed full of ice, blocking safe passage through. However today we were extremely lucky with a relatively clear channel on top of a beautifully calm, clear sunny day. As we sailed through we came across a large area of fast ice. The captain aimed the bow of the ship towards the ice and the National Geographic Orion crunched into it. Our afternoon activities were kayaking and a walk on the sea ice—a truly magical experience. We came across crabeater seals leaping onto the ice edge, humpback whales cruising along the ice edge, with several kayakers being only around 10m away from a breaching whale!

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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

Sarah Culler

Video Chronicler

Sarah was raised on a multi-generational family dairy farm, established circa 1815 in Lucas, Ohio. Consequently, her first paying job was milking cows! Rewarding as it was to get paid for the first time, she found her passion behind the lens of a camera. Growing up on the farm gave her not only a strong work ethic but also the love of nature and being outdoors. 

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