The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Day 8 – Whale

Posted by Robbie - 15 December 2013

Iceberg - photograph by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210

Iceberg - photograph by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210

These ice days just keep getting better. I took an early breakfast of bacon and toast then went to the daily schedule sheet to find what today had in store for me. Standing out amongst the usual lectures about ice and wildlife, there as one truly exciting thing to come. The one thing that stood out and made me cheer in delight. A Zodiac tour of the ice. Now for people that don't know what Zodiacs are I shall explain. They are essentially a hard rubber dingy with a motor hitched onto the rear. Going in the Zodiac wasn't the main thing I was excited about, we would be able to go onto the ice and see wildlife!

Two hours after reading the notice we arrived back. I had loved it. We had been able to get off the Zodiac and get onto ice close to the nearest iceberg. On it we had a huge snowball fight, made snow angels and created snowmen. We also saw lots of wildlife particularly Adelie penguins. We also saw a couple of crabeater seals lounging about.

Once we got back though I took off the puffy clothes and went down to my thermals. Soon I heard a call, "Whale, whale! Starboard side!". So instinctively (without proper clothes or shoes) I ran outside to see a whale swimming right next to the boat. I was lucky enough to get a clear video of it on my iPhone. Afterwards I spent twenty minutes looking through books to identify the whale. Soon I discovered it was a Dwarf Minke type which is meant to be quite rare for this area.