We've made our yearly migration south again, to guide trips in Antarctica aboard Quark's Ocean Diamond from November to March. There have been so many highlights - singing Weddell seals, calving glaciers, lunge feeding humpback whales, pods of orcas amongst the ice... Oh, did we mention penguins?! Their chicks are little fluff balls now, getting bigger and more gregarious by the day. Early in the season, before the chicks were hatched, our second expedition took us to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula - some of our favourite places on earth. In the Falklands and South Georgia, we communed with rock hopper penguins, king penguins, nesting black browed albatross, long finned pilot whales, fur seals, and elephant seals and their weaning pups. You could spend a lifetime here and still be captivated by the wildlife. We'll spare you the complete list, but suffice it to say that the incredible diversity and sheer abundance of wildlife of the Sub-Antarctic is parallel to none. The beaches of South Georgia are a wildlife bonanza.
The second trip of the season was exceptional on another account - after a sunny two days of excursions, Scotty launched the new More Please! album The Bounty. He's playing aboard the Ocean Diamond this season for what might be the first album release tour in Antarctica. Good times on the Ocean Diamond! What more could you need? (The More Please! Canadian launch is happening this spring. Look out!)
We arrived at the Peninsula, where mountains soar above the water's edge, and ice is so abundant that glaciers spill over the tops of peaks. The Antarctic landscape is so humbling and raw - it's a privilege to work in such a magical place.
After eight trips from Ushuaia across the Drake Passage to the seventh continent and back again, we're currently catching our breaths with a short break. I'm sure we'll have more stories when we return. In the meantime, enjoy the photos!