Lemaire Channel

Feb 13, 2020 - National Geographic Orion


Our guests awoke to a spectacular morning as National Geographic Orion transited Lemaire Channel. Lemaire channel is one of the most scenic areas is all of the Antarctic Peninsula. We were surrounded on either side by cascading mountains that entered the sea. As we traveled north, we searched for wildlife in particular the Type B2 (Gerlache) killer whales, a particular form of killer whale that is commonly sighted in the Gerlache Strait patrolling local penguin colonies. We were surprised to find a large group of 12 to 15 type A Antarctic killer whales traveling near Cuvertville Island. In comparison to the Type B2 (Gerlache) killer whales, Type A killer whales are completely black and white, and lack the large eye patch and yellow to brown diatom-stained coloration. Type A killer whales prefer open ice-free waters where they specialize in hunting Antarctic minke whales. This is the second time this season we have seen type A killer whales in the Gerlache area.

Later in the afternoon, our guests enjoyed a nice walk along the shores of Cuvertville Island, where a large colony of Gentoo penguin reside.

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About the Author

Josh McInnes

Naturalist

Josh is a Canadian ecologist who grew up on Vancouver Island British Columbia, Canada. He studied marine biology and ecology with a focus in marine mammals, food web, and community dynamics at the University of Victoria.

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