Hughes Bay Island and Mikkelsen Island

Kike Calvo, National Geographic Photography Expert

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 02 Feb 2022

Hughes Bay Island and Mikkelsen Island, 2/2/2022, National Geographic Resolution

  • Aboard the National Geographic Resolution
  • Antarctica

Our expedition leader Shaun Powell woke us up well before breakfast and invited us to watch a group of humpback whales that were all around National Geographic Resolution in Hughes Bay. We could see numerous groups of two to five whales feeding close to us and at a distance. This opportunity couldn’t be missed. The ship stopped, and after breakfast we lowered all Zodiacs on water.

After returning back onboard, our photographer and naturalist Nathan Kelley suggested that we all share our fluke photographs and submit them to HappyWhale.com for identification of whale individuals. That same evening twelve of the whales were identified, and during recap we could see where they’d previously been spotted in the world.

In the afternoon, we approach Mikkelsen Island. The wind increased during the day and some of the guests experienced a few salt splashes on the way to the landing. This small island featured a large colony of gentoo penguins. Several fur seals were also present on the beach, and the guests were able to observe the interactions between these two animals. This island also has some historic artifacts, as whalers in the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries used this island as a land base and left behind numerous whale bones and a carcass of their wood boat.

The tide was unusually low today and the guests had an opportunity to walk within the tidal zone around the island.

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