24 Dec 2006

White wilderness

Last night, we flew along the coast from Davis Station to visit a Weddell seal colony. The time of day (about 9:00 pm), the pristine atmosphere, and the loops our pilot made across the shimmering ice landscape beneath us made for a spectacular flight.

This was my first glimpse of massive tabular icebergs grounded along the coastline. They shimmered like clouds on the clear turquoise blue of the Southern Ocean, and crystal blue lakes formed circular patterns on the ice plateau, like jewels set in a giant meringue.

When we arrived, about 30 Weddell seals were lying around on the seal. I felt fortunate to stare into the eyes of a wild animal — in this case, a very sleepy Weddell seal in its natural habitat.

While we gazed in wonder, filmed and photographed, the Weddell’s occasionally arched their fins, scratched their bellies and yawned a lot! We weren’t sleepy yet, but at about 11.30 our pilot, Ricardo was back in the helicopter to take us on to Watt’s hut for the night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is the cutest pic