Antarctica Dream Adventure 05 – Birds and Bergs en route to South Georgia Island

Farewell Falklands

Having had two great shore excursions, Octantis now gets underway for South Georgia Island. The journey will take two days, but we will be moving into Antarctica as the Island is classified as part of Antarctica.

The Antarctica Dream always included South Georgia as it is ofter referred to as the Jewel of Antarctica with amazing landscapes.

So, during the voyage we encounter many birds. As usual flying just above the waves and circling around the ship. South Georgia is known for very large numbers of birds and we learnt that the cruise ships are quite a hazard for the birds – they are drawn to the lights in the ship windows and crash into the side of the ship.

Viking Octantis takes extra precautions in an attempt to reduce and prevent this from happening. As we mentioned in the initial blog, our large windows are motorized to lower them for photographs. They also have motorized blinds so we can lower them, especially as the days get longer in the Antarctic Summer.

Excellent Policy

However, at dusk, the captain can lower all of the blinds from the bridge, turn off all outside lights, thereby hardly showing any lights outside. In the morning some of the Expedition Staff, together with passenger volunteers, would tour the decks to remove any dead birds. We did not have any. So the policy for prevention absolutely worked.

Birds We Saw

Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides), Light-mantled Albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata), Grey-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma), Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera), Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus), Cape Petrel (Daption capense), Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melnophris), Antarctic Prion (Pachyptila desolata)

Marine Mammals We Saw

During the transition to South Georgia Island we also saw some marine mammals. The strange sighting was of the Fur Seals. They were floating on their backs managing their temperatures and apparently asleep. The bow was really upon them by the time they decided to dive and get out of the way.

Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus)

We saw lots of Whale blows, often in the distance, but we did see the tail of a Humpback Whale nearer to Octantis.

Photograph of the tail and splash of a diving Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae

During these two days we started to see Icebergs floating by. Not many were enormous at this stage, even bearing in mind that we only see 1/9 th of the total mass.

Gear: Nikon Z 8, Nikkor 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S, Z TC-1.4X, iPhone SE

If you missed the post 04 โ€“ Off-road to Volunteer Point and Penguins please follow this link.

If you missed the post 03 โ€“ Penguins At Last, West Point Island please follow the link.

To view all of Richard’s Marine Mammal Images please click here.

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One Response to Antarctica Dream Adventure 05 – Birds and Bergs en route to South Georgia Island

  1. Dennis S Weingarten says:

    Thanks again for sharing your adventures and the identifications.

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