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"A zodiac cruise" Antarctica Things to Do Tip by toonsarah

Antarctica Things to Do: 515 reviews and 1,047 photos

  Leopard seal
by toonsarah

Our first experience of the zodiacs wasn’t to go ashore but on a mini-cruise. On the afternoon of our first day in Antarctic waters the ship anchored at Cuverville Island. This small rocky island is home to the largest colony of gentoo penguins in Antarctica and to many other bird species too.

As with the various landings, everyone was assigned to a group distinguished by a colour code and letter. We were in Red C and would be last to depart. This had its pros and cons. The biggest downside was that we spent the afternoon unable to settle to other activities (too excited!) nor to relax in the lounge (too full of other groups waiting to leave). Also, by the time our turn came the programme was behind schedule, so it was a really long afternoon.

The pro though was that as we were on the very last boat our pilot felt able to go much closer to the various groups of birds (as it would matter less if they were made nervous and moved away) and, a special thrill, to this leopard seal resting on a small ice berg. He looks quite placid and friendly, doesn’t he? But these are the most aggressive of the seals and if you look closely at the photo you’ll see the red stain that marks the blood of his latest meal.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 27, 2007
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