Fin whale’s at one oclock!

Fin whale’s at one oclock! Just after breakfast there was a big blow and some what later a dorsal fin. We quickly turned of the engine to have a good look. We where in for a real treat! It ended up being 4 Finwhales. It was not until after we checked the pictures taken of the blows and the dorsal fins that we dared to say they where Fin whales and not Sei whales. The two are hard to tell apart. A large Sei whale can be bigger than a small Finwhale. One different’s is the hooked dorsal fin of the Sei whale. Another  but harder to check is the color of the head. A Fin whale is much darker on his port side and paler on his starboard side. This has to do with the way they scoop there catch of kreel. It is great to see these huge animals feed seemingly on disturbed. They hang around for half an hour before they vanished. Enjoying the Antarctic rich waters. We had another new sighting! The black Bellied Storm Petrel. It very closely resembles my favorite bird the Wilson Storm Petrel. It has a white flank with a black belly. I had read about these birds and never thought I would be able to tell them apart. Until they are both next to the ship in calm weather. Taking a good picture is a nother thing… A true pelagic bird, only coming ashore to breed. It is hard to belief such a small bird (not much larger than a swallow) stays out at sea in all weather. Better yet thriving at it! Although we are under engine, progress is good. We have entered the Antarctic at 60 degrees latitude this evening at 1900. Still 40 miles to go before we reach point Wild, Elephant Island. Ironicaly named after the second in command of Shackeltons Endurance voyage. Im sure the place can also be very “wild” even on a good day…

black Bellied Storm Petrel
Wilson storm petrel

Swift as jagged lightnings sweep,

Calling wild and weird and free,

Darted Petrels, rare, of dainty form,

Wee fearless travelers of the deep,

Who welcomes, lone, the perilous storm   (Milton S Ray)

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