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17 December 2012 / leggypeggy

Danco Island—a gentleman comes to call in Antarctica

Exploding iceberg

The aftermath of a mini-exploding iceberg. Note the small waves

Our third day of landings and Zodiac cruises in Antarctica began with Danco Island, off the southern end of the Errera Channel.

Danco is only a mile long, but it’s almost 600 feet high. The views are spectacular, and no one knows them better than the 1600 breeding pairs of Gentoo penguins who often prefer to nest high up the slopes.

Weddell seal

Weddell seal lounging on an iceberg

Weddell seal

A gentleman comes to call

Weddell seal

Not getting a response

As with Neko Harbour, we tramped to the top and were rewarded with expansive views of surrounding glaciers and rolled icebergs scattered across the channel.

Crew on the Ocean Diamond had a lot of praise for the British, who conducted geological research at Danco until 1959. In 2004, Britain removed all trace of Antarctic Survey Station O—a highly commendable act. Today only a location plaque remains.

But we were in for two treats with our Zodiac cruise. Soon after we set out, part of an iceberg exploded beside us. There was a loud bang and ice sprayed everywhere alongside. I wasn’t quick enough to get a pic of the blowout. Hey, no one was expecting it. But I did get a quick snap of the floating fallout and the small waves that were created.

Then came the seals. Solan, our Zodiac driver on this morning, spotted a Weddell seal snoozing on an iceberg in the distance and motored over so we could have a closer look. ‘She’ wasn’t all that interested in us.

But then a ‘suitor’ appeared. Now I’m probably getting this all wrong, and I may have the sexes wrong, but this was how it seemed to those of us observing.

The suitor approached the iceberg, made some noises—no reaction. He bobbed around in and under the water for a while and made more approaches. He even swam to the other side of the berg to make an advance. Still no interest, and in the end he swam away. It was a magic moment for us, even if he didn’t get anywhere.

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Leave a Comment
  1. skippersy / Dec 17 2012 1:53 pm

    Yo LeggyPeggy,

    Once again some great photos to see, the seals, waves of water from the broken up iceberg…. cool! And your commentary to go along!!!

    Sy S.


    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 1:59 pm

      Thanks Sy, I have to confess that I’m having too much fun!


  2. lmo58 / Dec 17 2012 7:06 pm

    Peggy, there is no such thing as too much fun!! Honestly! What a nice romantic story though. Her Ladyship looks very comfortable and as for her gentleman caller, I guess he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all women need their rest and beauty sleep and you can’t have a slick, gorgeous coat like that by working all the time. Still really enjoying the photos. What are we all going to do when you don’t go anywhere for a while?


    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 8:08 pm

      What makes you think I won’t be going anywhere for a while? But seriously, it will take me months to bring the blog truly up-to-date, so don’t worry.


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