Coronation Island & Monroe Island

Eric Wehrmeister, Video Chronicler

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 13 Jan 2022

Coronation Island & Monroe Island, 1/13/2022, National Geographic Endurance

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endurance
  • Antarctica

After leaving Antarctica, we are heading for Coronation Island in the South Orkneys. In the morning, we sailed through a field of tabular icebergs that dwarfed the ship! We spotted Coronation Island around lunchtime and deployed Zodiacs in the small bay between Coronation Island and Monroe Island. Chinstraps by the thousands covered every rocky surface. We spotted Antarctic fur and Weddell seals spread out amongst the penguins, and right at the end of our tour, we spotted a leopard seal making a meal out of a chinstrap penguin.

As we left the South Orkneys and headed for the South Sandwich Islands, we started to see blows of whales. First, there were a few blows, then several blows, then more and more blows visible all around the ship. We were sailing in whale soup! Everywhere we looked, whales blew at the surface. On closer inspection, we found that these were fin whales by the hundreds, in addition to a smallish blue whale and a smallish humpback whale amongst the group. The whales were sub-surface feeding on krill in the area. In the collective memories of all staff on board, we have never seen so many fin whales in one spot. It truly was a whale of a day!

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