19th.February, Antarctica, Dallmann Bay – Humpback Whales
We were lucky again to see some Humpback whales on our return trip through the Neumayer Channel and the Southern end of the Gerlache Strait. The ship once again stopped and maneuvered to provide the best possible views.
The last Zodiac excursion before entering the Drake Passage was in Dallman Bay off Melchior Island. At first we cruised or rather raced round a rocky island chiefly to see the rock formations and some fur seals, but whales were spotted and the guides raced after them. This made it freezing cold in the boats but we did see them from somewhat closer than from the ship and at a lower angle, giving better shots.
I shall be glad to see any green plants when I get back. At the research station we visited yesterday someone had arranged some stones along the edge of a ‘flower bed’, but nothing grew there despite the penguins fertilising it liberally.
It was strange to think that it was colder in Switzerland than in Antarctica while I was away. It was summer there of course, but the glaciers are not far away. They cover 2/3 of South Georgia and almost all of Antarctica. The experienced temperature depends mostly on the wind. In some of the photos I am wearing my double padded jacket as it was an early morning tour. Some tours later in the day have been a lot warmer if the sun was shining and I could wear my newer jacket together with a fleece.