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Antarctic Adventure

clouds ranging over ragged black mountains coated with snow. The heavy fog shrouding the island lifted by mid-morning. Elephant Island was named for its elephant-head shape and for the seals that live there. It is another favorite spot for humpbacks, minkes, chinstraps and gentoos. The crew of Sir Ernest Shackleton was stranded on Elephant Island in 1916 while the explorer went for help with five others after their ship became trapped in sea ice. He did return and saved every crew member. Antarctica is protected by the Antarctica Treaty System signed in 1961 by the 12 nations active in the region: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the former Soviet Union, the UK and the US. The treaty defines Antarctica as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees South latitude and preserves freedom for scien-

and are slow but smart on land. We watched chinstraps and gentoos sw imming toget her in a group, which we were told is a rare sight. We spot ted black a nd brow n A ntarctic f ur seals lounging on ice f loes and beaches. The tan and brown southern elephant seal, one of the largest seals we saw, has an island name after it. Though seals can be aggressive, we did not witness this behavior. Primary whale visitors included gigantic humpbacks breaching the sea around the ship with their attention-getting tails slapping the water. The smaller minke whales, with slender, torpedo-shaped bodies, were fast moving with a prominent dorsal fin and looked like large dolphins when viewed from the ship. Our last stop on our third day in Antarctica was Elephant Island, framed by leaden skies and low slate

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Profile for Tidewater Times

June 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2018

June 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2018