Whales and penguins in the Dallmann Fjords off Anvers Island, Antarctica

A triangle-shaped Iceberg in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

A triangle-shaped Iceberg in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Anvers Island or Antwerp Island or Antwerpen Island or Isla Amberes is a high, mountainous island 61 km long, the largest in the Palmer Archipelago of Antarctica – 38 miles (61 km) long.   It was discovered by John Biscoe in 1832 and named in 1898 by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition under Andrian de Gerlache after the province of Antwerp in Belgium.

The mountainous coast with glaciers of the Dallmann Fjords near Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

The mountainous coast with glaciers of the Dallmann Fjords near Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Captain Dallmann was the captain of a sealing ship who sailed through this area of Antarctica prior to 1875 when his discoveries were used in A. Petermann’s South Polar Chart.

 

Humpback whale in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Humpback whale in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

 

“The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m (39–52 ft) and weigh about 36,000 kg (79,000 lb).  The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers.  Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time.  Its purpose is not clear, though it may have a role in mating.” — Wikipedia

 

Humpback whale profile in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Humpback whale profile in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

 

“Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) each year.  Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter when they fast and live off their fat reserves.  Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish.  Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net technique.  Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry.  Once hunted to the brink of extinction, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a 1966 moratorium.  While stocks have partially recovered, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution continue to impact the population of 80,000.” — Wikipedia

Icebergs in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Icebergs in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Iceberg with Gentoo Penguins in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Iceberg with Gentoo Penguins in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Three Gentoo Penguins on iceberg in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

Three Gentoo Penguins on iceberg in Dallmann Fjords off Northern Anvers Island, Antarctica

 

4 thoughts on “Whales and penguins in the Dallmann Fjords off Anvers Island, Antarctica

    • The penguins use the icebergs as “playgrounds”, having swum out to them from their nesting areas on the large islands or the continent. The main predators are skuas, large birds, that have figured out excellent tactics — some of the birds distract the penguins (particularly when nesting) and then others swoop in and grab the eggs or baby chicks. We saw this several times during our visit to Antarctica and we have video “footage” from our videographer (not stills).

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    • Our entire time in Antarctica was, as you suggest, extraordinary. Visiting the southernmost continent lets you see mother nature in all her glory. We were luck to only encounter one blizzard (on our first landing at Deception Island), so we only got a “taste” of how severe the environment can be for humans. Ours hats were collectively off to the 19th and 20th century explorers (who had much more primitive equipment than 21st century visitors to Antarctica).

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