Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales
January 3 - Errera Channel, Gerlache Strait, the Antarctic Peninsula

By this point in our trip we had seen three types of penguins, three types of seals, and more birds than we can count. But so far no whales. We had only been casually looking for the whales but now, on day 9 of our trip, we were starting to feel the loss and so it was time to get serious about looking. There are eight types of whales to be spotted in Antarctica: Blue, Fin, Humpback, Minke, Orca, Southern Right, Sei and Sperm, however we were only likely to see three of those types because of season, location and habits. So our eyes were peeled for Humpback, Minke and Orca whales. While we did eventually see Minke whales at a distance, they are fast and were gone before we could say "hey look", so no photos of those. Oddly, the most likely whale for us to see, the Orca, we never did see. However in the true fashion of this trip once our guides warned us that we would likely not see any Humpback whales, that is exactly the kind of whale that turned up.

I (Rachel) had only so far spent about 20 minutes on the bridge looking for whales, but was planning to go up and take a shift after lunch. That did not come to be as just as we were finishing lunch we were called to the bridge as whales were spotted in the distance. Two humpback whales traveling along to coast in search of a feeding ground.

Some Humpback Whale facts:

Population:20,000 individuals
Location:Oceans world-wide
Size:40-50 feet long
Weight:Up to 48 tons
Diet:Krill and fish

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And finally a full breach!!!

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"One of the Humpback's more spectacular behaviors is the breach. Breaching is a true leap where a whale generates enough upward force with its powerful flukes to lift approximately two-thirds of its body out of the water, coming back down with a thunderous splash. A breach may also involve a twisting motion, when the whale twists its body sideways as it reaches the height of the breach. Other behaviors include headlunging (butting into other whales), body rolls, lobtailing (fluke and flipper slapping), and spyhopping (lifting straight out of the water)." - 'Humpback Whales' - Antarctic Connection

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Read the next chapter: Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding


Table of Contents:

Introduction: Telling the Story posted Jan 10, 2009

Day 0: Positioning posted Jan 12, 2009

Leaving, on a jet plane posted Jan 12, 2009

Day 1: The Herc posted Jan 15, 2009

Day 1: Penguino posted Jan 16, 2009

Day 2: Chicken posted Jan 17, 2009

Day 2: Leopard posted Jan 19, 2009

Day 2: Snow Day posted Jan 22, 2009

Day 2: Shipwreck posted Jan 26, 2009

Day 2: Totally Tabular posted Jan 27, 2009

Day 3: Gentoo Cute posted Jan 29, 2009

Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier posted Feb 3, 2009

Day 3: Palmer Station Visit posted Feb 9, 2009

Day 4: Icy Penguins posted Feb 11, 2009

Day 4: Adelie Awesome posted Feb 15, 2009

Day 4: Leopard Seal Attack posted Feb 17, 2009

Day 4: Kayak posted Feb 19, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Station Visit posted Feb 23, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Sunset posted Feb 25, 2009

Day 5: Antarctic Circle posted Feb 27, 2009

Day 5: Polar Plunge posted Mar 5, 2009

Day 5: Mouth of The Gullet posted Mar 13, 2009

Day 5: Ice Camping posted Mar 18, 2009

Day 6: Flamingos on Ice posted Mar 20, 2009

Day 6: Mountain Climbing posted Mar 24, 2009

Day 6: Ice Textures posted Mar 26, 2009

Day 6: Antarctic New Years posted Apr 2, 2009

Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker posted Apr 9, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 1 posted Apr 17, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 2 posted Apr 21, 2009

Day 8: Bird Watching in the Fish Islands posted Apr 23, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 1 posted May 5, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 2 posted May 11, 2009

Day 9: Port Lockroy - Base A posted May 20, 2009

Bonus Chapter: Baby Penguins! posted May 21, 2009

» Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales posted June 3, 2009

Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding posted June 11, 2009

Day 10: Birthday Whales posted June 23, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds posted July 15, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals posted July 22, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 1: Walking on the Moon posted Dec 11, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz posted Dec 15, 2009

Day 11: Emperor Penguins posted Jan 8, 2010

Day 12: Black and White and Pink All Over posted Aug 4, 2011

More chapters posted every few days...



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