Dec 24, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer
Today we visited historic Port Lockroy aboard National Geographic Explorer. Port Lockroy is located in the Palmer Archipelago in the middle of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is considered the most southerly operational post office on Earth! In the early 1900s Port Lockroy was used as a base for whalers and soon after became a post for the British Antarctic Survey. It now acts as a museum and gift shop, with numerous artifacts from Antarctic exploration. Besides being a sought-after destination to receive an honorary passport stamp, Port Lockroy is home to a large gentoo penguin (Pycoscelis papua) and blue-eyed shag (Phalacrocorax georgianus) colony, as well as a few Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) that bask out on sea ice.
In the afternoon we took our guests on a Zodiac cruise in beautiful Hidden Cove. We were very lucky to get a close-up view of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) hauled out on ice floes, and even found a dead Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) being feasted upon by southern giant petrels (Macronectes giganteus) and cape petrels (Daption capense).
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