Sunday, February 6, 2011

finally leopard seals

23:30 GMT, 05 February, 62�00.1 S 061�00.4 W, en route to Punta Arenas

Earlier today we made a brief stop at Cape Shirref. After unloading
supplies, a few of us took a little hike. A leopard seal was
slithering onto the beach as we approached the next cove. They both
look and move (at least on land) like a reptile. There were also
Weddell, Elephant, and Fur Seals (which look at lot like the sea lions
in California). As we walked along, the occasional Fur Seal would
charge. However banging a stick on the ground was sufficient to stop
them. At the following cove, we saw another Leopard Seal stalking some
Fur Seal pups. The Leopard Seal was lying in a foot of water at the
water's edge, less than 5 feet away from 4 or 5 pups who played
unconcernedly. We continued over another ridge to a penguin rockery
where there were thousands of Chinstrap and Adeile Penguins and the
accompanying smell. On the way back, we saw that the Leopard Seal had
been successfull. He was in the water thrashing around with one of the
pups in his mouth. Numerous Giant Petrels joined the feeding frenzy
hoping for a share of the spoils.

Apparently we made The story was mostly about a cruise
ship, "MV Polar Star," which struck a rock near Detaille Island. At
the end of the story, they mentioned the rudder problems we had in

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