Brabant Island

Nov 23, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

Our original plan for the morning was to perform a landing at Almirante Brown Station and paddle a bit in the area. However, the wind did not allow us to organize any kayaking activity, so we changed our plans to find shelter along the southeast coastline of Brabant Island. This island has been named after the province of Brabant in Belgium by the famous Belgian Antarctic Explorer, Adrien de Gerlache. He performed the first overwinter and scientific mission aboard his ship the Belgica in 1899 and chartered precisely the coastline of the West Antarctic peninsula. We have been Zodiac cruising in the area as well as kayaking on calm seas. In the distance, we could see Lecointe Island, whose name is the one of Belgica's captain.

The highlight of the day was, of course, the fact that we spotted a juvenile emperor penguin swimming! These juveniles will be away from their colony for the first 4 years of their lives and will come back to their breeding area on the sea ice after 4 years at sea in the Southern Ocean.

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About the Author

Jonathan Zaccaria

Expedition Leader

At age 24 Jonathan had his first experience in Antarctica as a scientist at the coastal French Dumont d'Urville Station. Located on the windiest place on Earth (regularly around 200km/h, maximum up to 320 km/h), and bounded by sea ice eight months a year, this is the closest station to an Emperor penguin colony, worldwide advertised by the documentary movie The March of the Penguins. During his time there, he was taking measurements of the ozone layer and UV rate.

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