Antarctica Adventure - 2002

Most of their chicks are well on the way to fledging and are in their nursery/kindergarten groups. The ever-industrious parents are in constant motion heading down to the sea or back up to their chicks for feeding. It is really both funny and humbling to see these little guys working so hard at parenting. Though they are wonderfully balletic and fast in the water, land is not so kind to them. They trudge and they waddle and they struggle up the steep places. Their feet are huge for their body size and have prominent toenails that help themget a purchase on the boulders and steep sides they must ascend.

Also meeting us on the beach were five adult fur seal males. We had been told how closely we are allowed to approach any wildlife and most of the creatures require a 10-meter circle to feel comfortable. However, we were instructed to give the fur seals 30 meters of space since they can move very rapidly; they are able to rotate their hind flippers under them and thereby “walk/run” on land very efficiently. Their bite is particularly nasty and is l00% infective because of the shape of their teeth which retain bits of whatever their last meals have been. So we had been forewarned to avoid being chomped on by a fur seal. These

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