Antarctica Adventure - 2002

The problem for the albatross is the long line fishing. It seems that the males fly south to feed and thereby avoid contact with fishing. However, the females fly north and are entrapped in the lines and drown. Simple and inexpensive ways to prevent these unhappy accidents have been developed since the occasion for entrapment last only during the first 5 minutes the lines are being let out and many fishermen are now cooperating with the scientists to prevent this threat to the species. Already, the numbers of returning females have improved by 20%, so it is hoped that the problem has been solved and the numbers will continue to rise. The poor little pipit, which many an avid birder wants to add to his life list, is a rather unprepossessing looking robin-sized dun-colored bird with a very pale yellow breast. However, the very fact of his existence is the amazing thing a songbird in the Antarctic. He flits about among the fur and elephant seals and under the royal nose of the giant albatross nesting in the tussock grasses and eating the insects which do live at the latitude of South Georgia. We felt thrilled to see him too even in hisdiminutiveness. K ING H AAKON B AY The next plan was to enjoy a zodiac cruise to Cave Cove in King Haakon Bay where Shackleton first beached the James Caird after their arrival in South Georgia. Later they moved their camp seven miles further up into the bay to Camp Peggoty so they would have close access to the mountains they were going to have to climb to get to Stromness on the other side of the island. That would have been wonderful indeed, but again the wind and waves played us foul and made it impossible. So we had to look out at King Haakon Bay at dinner time and imagine how the beach looked when Shackleton and his two doughty companions arrived. Our “Shackleton Dinner” began with a greeting from Dave dressed as an Antarctic explorer complete with “frostbitten toes,” beard and glacier goggles. He was housed on the deck in an old tent full of tatters and decorated with old maps, a Union Jack, tin cans, bits of bone. After dinner, we realized that we were not leaving anchorage as had been announced. Instead, the ship stayed still though we occasionally heard the screws working. Later, we learned that a screw had frozen again and the captain sent divers below to see if the shaft or propeller needed to be freed from something. That not being the problem, they just


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