Today was the last full day of our South Georgia Expedition and there was no lack of excitement. Remarkably the expedition sighted two "Type D" Orca whales as they approached the Beagle Channel. The "Type D" Orca whale is very rare, with only a handful of sightings world wide. In fact our team think they are sightings number 8 & 9. The "Type D" Orca has a small white eye patch. The picture below shows the different types of Orcas. Needless to say is was an exciting moment, especially when the on board biologists were able to confirm (by emailing photos) that these were indeed the elusive and rare "Type D" Orcas.
|Photo from the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center website|
As the team settles in for one last night aboard the Plancius they are very happy to be returning to loved ones, but sad to be ending what has been a remarkable journey. Scott mentions that he tried to convince the captain to turn around, and Joel writes in a message that "This place is truly awesome."
It has been a great pleasure for us to share this expedition with all of you. We hope that you have enjoyed learning about South Georgia Island and perhaps have the opportunity to travel there yourself! PolarExplorers will be offering this journey next year from October 15-November 3, 2013. If you'd like to join us please contact Annie at PolarExplorers.
Before you go make sure to listen to Chris and Scott's audio dispatch below, and a second dispatch from Anja and Scott. And below the dispatch are some final pictures from the expedition. Enjoy!
|The Shackleton Crossing team on board the Plancius|
|Kayaking with seals|
|Rising above King Haakon Bay on the first day of the crossing|
|Laurie, we think, enjoying a sunny day|
|Hanging out with the locals|
|Joel enjoying the view while it lasts|
|Are those skiers or penguins?|