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25 February, 2001

-066 01 Latitude

093 43 Longitude

"Killer Moments"

Found a book today in the library singed by the author "Barry Lopez and his wife." I remember listening to him at a conference and talking about being down here. It was such fun to think how he saw this world and his descriptions based on this ship (Extra credit if you read his book). We are making slow progress down to our next station. The ice has overtaken the open ocean covering it from thin transparent sheets to thick ridges of solid ice smashed together like a freeway pileup. It is these transparent sheets that will turn into pancake ice if it becomes exposed to the action of the waves. The thick ice is called pack ice after the manner in which it is formed from different types of ice pushed together by wind and waves (see picture of pack ice at night).

As we were closer to our station site the pack ice cleared to become large floating platforms dotted with seals and an occasional group of penguins. As we were heading out of the pack ice to an area of open water a pod of killer whales came along the side of the ship and followed us for a while. Further on they were joined by a pod of minke whales. (Do a search on whales to find out what minkes look like.) As the minke whales came up to the bow of the boat you could see them under the water (check picture). To see such animals in their natural element so close to the ship was such a gift. I don't think I will ever forget these moments.

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