Gentoo Penguins and Sheathbills in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica

HMS Protector left Palmer Station and headed through the Lemaire Channel on our way to Varanger, another research base to the south.  The day was glorious and early low cloud lifted as we passed through the Channel.  This is one of the most spectacular transits of the Antarctic so most of the crew were on the upper deck enjoying the scenery.  Although I was pleased with the images I captured none of them do justice to a fantastic location.

Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

A pair of Pale-faced Sheathbills landed on the foremast and started to display to each other before flying off.  I assume they will be nesting in the very near future.  The water in the channel was crystal clear and there were numerous feeding parties of Gentoo Penguins that could be seen from high up on the bridge roof.  The only seal of the transit was a single Crab-eater laid up on an iceberg.

Pale-faced Sheathbill, Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Pale-faced Sheathbill, Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Gentoo Penguin, Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Gentoo Penguin, Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Crab-eater Seal, Lemaire Channel - 10 Dec 12

Steve Copsey

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