Antarctica and Iguazu, 2013-14

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The numbers refer to the full set of 128 images.

1.  

Devil's Throat; a view of part of Iguazu Falls, from the Argentinian side.

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2.  

An overall view of most of Iguazu Falls taken from the Brazilian side, near our hotel, the Das Cataratas. Notice the boat heading for the Falls with about 30 people on board.

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3.  

Part of Iguazu Falls seen from the Brazilian side.

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4.  

An overall view of most of Iguazu Falls taken from the Brazilian side, near our hotel, the Das Cataratas.

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5.  

A local inhabitant, Iguazu Falls.

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6.  

Moon-lit view of Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, near our hotel, the Das Cataratas.

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7.  

The boats go right in under these Falls; there may even be one there -- we wouldn't see it for the spray.

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8.  

A very wet observation platform; taken from the Brazilian side, Iguazu Falls.

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9.  

Another very wet observation platform; taken from the Brazilian side, Iguazu Falls.

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10.  

Lorraine at the entrance to the Brazilian National Park that protects Iguazu Falls; Argentina has its own Park that protects its side of the Falls.

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11.  

Our personal guide, Gabrielle, who showed us both sides of the Falls (and was extremely helpful when we left Lorraine's hearing aids behind). Gabrielle was arranged for us by Papamoa House of Travel; she was very sensitive to our ways of experiencing the Falls and gave us an outstanding tour, mostly on foot.

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12.  

The lights of Ushuaia seen from our hotel the night before we boarded the ship, Sea Spirit.

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13.  

The Beagle Channel seen from the Sea Spirit as we left Ushuaia.

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14.  

The Falkland Islands (known as Islas Malvinas in Agentina) seen from Sea Spirit.

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15.  

More Falkland Islands sky seen from Sea Spirit.

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16.  

These cape petrel birds followed the Sea Spirit for days in the less southerly parts of our voyage. Taken from the deck of Sea Spirit, south of the Falkland Islands.

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17.  

This striated caracara was scavenging on Carcass Island, in the Falklands.

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18.  

This Cobbs wren is locally fairly common here on Carcass Island and some other rat-free islands in the Falklands but is otherwise rare and vulnerable.

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19.  

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. Margaret Thatcher, as British Prime Minister at the time, is commemorated for ordering the liberation of the Falklands from Argentinian occupation in the 1980s.

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20.  

This old cannon at Port Stanley is symbolic but there is a modern British military presence here in the Falkland Islands.

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21.  

Stromness, South Georgia; our group in yellow jackets is reurning from a hike into a penguin colony. The others are staff keepng us on the marked route to avoid disturbing wild-life.

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22.  

Ruins of an old whaling station at Stromness, South Georgia.

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23.  

One of the many whales we saw from the ship.

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24.  

My favourite whale shot; this one further south, with gentoo penguins.

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25.  

Adeli penguin on an ice floe with a seal.

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26.  

Small icebergs; the blue colour derives from light scattering by tiny air bubbles trapped in the ice.

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27.  

Gentoo penguins on their rocky nests, Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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28.  

Rocks and ice: a typical shore line on Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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29.  

Brown Bay; a small research station on the Antarctic mainland.

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30.  

Southern Ocean: evening sun between South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsular in astonishingly calm conditions. The zodiac partly visible in the bottom left is on board the Sea Spirit.

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31.  

Sunset, Southern Ocean.

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32.  

Rockhopper penguins heading into the sea; Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.

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33.  

Gentoo penguins 'porpoising' through the Southern Ocean.

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34.  

Chinstrap penguins 'porpoising' through the Southern Ocean.

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35.  

Gentoo penguin, Southern Ocean.

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36.  

Gentoo penguin with young; Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.

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37.  

Another gentoo penguin with young; it was snowing gently.

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38.  

Gentoo penguin chick, Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.

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39.  

This striated caracara was attacking one of the red flags that had been placed to mark our route on Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.

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40.  

Black-browed albatross far from land between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

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41.  

Black-browed albatross accompanying the Sea Spirit between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

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42.  

Shag rock; a haven for shags (the birds in the foreground) about half way between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

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43.  

Elephant seals, Stromness, South Georgia.

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44.  

Don't expect uncrowded beaches in South Georgia. Finding a safe route across the beach at landing sites without disturbing the incumbents was a major challenge.

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45.  

Fur seal, Salibury Plain, South Georgia.

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46.  

Snow falling on a young fur seal; Elsehul, South Georgia.

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47.  

The fur seals vigorously defended their territory and harems; we had to keep clear of them and double up for safety. Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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48.  

Found the spot! Fur seal, St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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49.  

Proud king penguin; Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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50.  

King penguin; Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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51.  

Not on speaking terms. King penguins on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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52.  

Remember the Beatles crossing Abbey Road? King penguins with Sea Spirit behind; Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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53.  

It was a priviledge to watch king penguins going about their daily lives interacting with one another. This looks like courtship. St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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54.  

This is definitely more than courtship; more like 'foreplay' if that term makes sense for non-humans. Salibury Plain, South Georgia.

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55.  

In the right-hand pane I like to think the brown chick in the background indicates what is on the female king penguin's mind. Salibury Plain, South Georgia.

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56.  

King penguin chick. This terrestrial juvenile fur will soon fall off in a catastrophic moult that will reveal the sea-going coat that is growing underneath. St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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57.  

King penguin chicks waiting for their juvenile fur to drop off. St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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58.  

Small part of the huge colony of king penguins at St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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59.  

Feeding time for a king penguin chick; Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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60.  

King penguin feeding by regurgitation; Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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61.  

Skua chicks, St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia. It's hard to believe these balls of fluff will grow into relentless hunters of penguin eggs and young chicks as well as general scavengers in the penguin colony.

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62.  

Skua chick.

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63.  

Skua chick.

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64.  

Adult Skua.

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65.  

Mountains above St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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66.  

Lorraine enjoying the view at St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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67.  

St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia.

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68.  

Sky over Point Wild, Elephant Island, Antarctica.

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69.  

Gibb's Island, Antarctica.

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70.  

Fin whale off Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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71.  

Rainbow in the blow from a fin whale; seen from Sea Spirit in mid-ocean between South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsular.

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72.  

Bird interaction seen from a zodiac off Danco Island, Antarctica.

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73.  

Blue-eyed shag, Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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74.  

Blue-eyed shag, Godthul, Antarctica.

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75.  

Blue-eyed shag, Kinnes Cove, Antarctica.

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76.  

Blue-eyed shag on its nest, with young. Godthul, South Georgia.

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77.  

Giant petrel resting on the water. Godthul, South Georgia.

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78.  

Giant petrels. Godthul, South Georgia.

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79.  

Chinstrap penguin, Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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80.  

Chinstrap penguins heading for the water. The colour on their fronts comes from being in the crowded colony; pink from regurgitated krill etc; yellow-brown from excretion. Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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81.  

Gentoo penguin, Godthul, South Georgia.

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82.  

Penguins swimming. Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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83.  

Chinstrap penguin; Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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84.  

Chinstrap penguins heading up to their nesting sites. Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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85.  

Chinstrap penguins and some sea birds resting on an iceberg near Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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86.  

Chinstrap penguins on an iceberg near Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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87.  

Chinstrap penguins on an iceberg near Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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88.  

Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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89.  

Floating ice.

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90.  

Icebergs, with Sea Spirit in the background.

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91.  

Ice off Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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92.  

Iceberg off Gibbs Island, Antarctica.

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93.  

Iceberg off Danco Island, Antarctica.

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94.  

Icicles seen from a zodiac, Kinnes Cove, Antarctica.

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95.  

A pod of whales came very close to us in our relatively tiny zodiac and entertained us for quite a while; Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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96.  

Whale tail continues.

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97.  

Whale tail continues.

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98.  

Blue ice, Kinnes Cove, Antarctica.

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99.  

Blue ice, Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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100.  

Back-lit ice, Danco Island, Antarctica.

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101.  

Adelie penguin seen from a zodiac; Kinnes Cove, Antarctica.

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102.  

Adelie penguins setting off to feed; Kinnes Cove, Antarctica.

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103.  

Adelie penguin with young; Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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104.  

Kelp goose, Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

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105.  

While guiding us ashore, the expedition doctor placed his doll here for a photograph on Couverville Island, Antarctica, but a striated caracara decided it might be edible.

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106.  

Gentoo penguins, Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

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107.  

Ice and gentoo penguins; Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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108.  

Ice and gentoo penguin; Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

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109.  

Gentoo penguins heading back to the nest; Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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110.  

Gentoo penguin funding its way to the sea; Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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111.  

Antarctic impact. The temporary red-flagged route was a human highway made by us in an hour or so. The penguin highway that we crossed here took weeks to make. The expedition team worked hard to minimise our effect on the local environment and, fortunately, the penguins didn't seem to be concerned about us or our 'super-highway' so long as we kept a few metres away. Sometimes a penguin would approach one of us; in that case one just stood and watched while it satisfied its curiosity. Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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112.  

Gentoo penguin heading back to the nest; see how clean it is from swimming in the ocean; Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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113.  

Meanwhile, back home, a gentoo penguin defends its nest from pebble-stealing neighbours; Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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114.  

Nest egg; gentoo penguin colony, Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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115.  

Turning the egg and keeping it warm; gentoo penguin colony, Couverville Island, Antarctica.

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116.  

More gentoos with rocky nests. Penguins choose rocky areas that become snow-free and relatively warm early in the season, to give themselves time to raise their young before winter. Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

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117.  

Fur seals enjoying their natural environment; Godthul, South Georgia.

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118.  

On an iceberg, Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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119.  

Curiosity at our zodiac loaded with yellow-jacketed humans, Gourdin Island, Antarctica.

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120.  

Lorraine is having her life-jacket checked by Cheli before heading to the shore to return to Sea Spirit by zodiac. This site is a small research station, at Paradise Bay in Antarctica. The concrete platform and steps down to the beach were a rare luxury.

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121.  

Avoiding the ice at 65 degrees, 45 minutes latitude. This was nearly as far south as we got. Off Biscoe Islands, Antarctica.

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122.  

Ice at Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

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123.  

Sun setting in the LeMaire channel, Antarctica.

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124.  

Sun setting in the LeMaire channel, Antarctica. The bow of Sea Spirit, seen here, was a favourite place for viewing. I was on the deck above which was an observation deck that went right round the ship.

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125.  

Sun setting in the LeMaire channel, Antarctica.

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126.  

LeMaire channel, Antarctica.

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127.  

A pod of whales apparently came to see us off as we headed between Anvers Island and Brabant Island towards the Drake passage and South America.

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128.  

Farewell! A pod of whales apparently came to see us off as we headed between Anvers Island and Brabant Island towards the Drake passage and South America.

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