Saturday, 19 February 2011


The pod of Orcas that has been around for a while are still making appearances once or twice a day, to the frustration of the dive team. They can't dive if there are Orcas or Leopard Seals around, though they did get a very good view a couple of days ago when the whales turned up just after they set off for a dive. Another pod that was around earlier are now off the Falklands (one of them was satellite tagged). I sat up by the memorials on Sunday morning, watching them come in from the south before they headed reasonably close past the wharf. Since then I have set up in the Bonner lab and can see them approaching the wharf from the office window, giving enough time to grab the camera and run out to get photos. The brown wash to their colouring is algae (diatoms) which often stain whales in the Southern Ocean and around Antarctica.


UK to Antarctica

Set off from the UK on 8th Feb and made it to Rothera on 12th after a couple of days delay in Punta Arenas due to bad weather at Rothera. Route is Heathrow to Madrid, Madrid to Santiago, Santiago to Punta Arenas and then the BAS Dash 7 from Punta.

 Madrid airport

 The Gould (an American research ship/icebreaker) in Punta

The Gould being dwarfed by a cruise ship

 Since my first visit in 2007 the seafront has been developed into a very pleasant area.

 But the stray dogs are still around

As are the broken jetties, which are inaccessible to the dogs so good for the birds

On the first day of delay we went to the local penguin colony, big business round here.
 On the second day of being stuck in Punta we went out to a forest reserve just out of town

 Glacier in Tierra del Fuego

 More of Tierra del Fuego

 The Dash 7 props

 The inside

On the apron in Rothera

Monday, 7 February 2011

Falklands in late January

A few days on the Falklands before flying home (this post is a bit late, only just before I go south again to the Antarctic Peninsula)

The Falklands does...


 With heads, normally

 Even in the right place on occasion


An edible berry, Diddle-dee:

Geese, Kelp:



 Military history:

Military present:

King Edward Point and Grytviken

King Edward Point is the capital of South Georgia, Grytviken is the old whaling base at the head of the bay.

 King Edward Point (all of it)
Most of the inhabitants(King Penguins)

 Grytviken, beyond KEP

 The church and museum, and some of the old whaling station tanks. The station closed in December 1966.

 The rest of the rusting station

 The Hanseatic, listing over in the strong winds. There was a steady 25 knot wind with 50 knot katabatic gusts bouncing around the bay. Katabatic winds are when air cools, becomes dense and falls down big mountains (The mountains here are big and cold, 50 knots is being let off fairly lightly)

A katabatic gust going by in Cumberland Bay

 A few views of the rest of the bay