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Steve Howell reports from the recent Antarctic 2023 cruise.

February 08: Steve Howell reports from the recent Antarctic 2023 cruise.

Steve Howell and Gavin Bieber report from their recent Cape Horn and Antarctica Cruise, an amazing adventure to some remarkable places, here the group with its first view of the Antarctic—the legendary and dramatic Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s crew waited for their heroic rescue.


The wide range of oceanic birds exemplified the diversity of marine habitats we traversed, ending off Argentina with the handsome Spectacled Petrel...


Starting off Chile with Juan Fernandez (right) and Southern Giant-Petrels in gray Humboldt Current waters


And in between, Soft-plumaged Petrel (bottom) with dapper Pintado Petrels over sunny  blue subantarctic waters.


This year’s cruise was exceptional for its views of iconic southern seabirds, such as this Snow Petrel...


And this Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, which paralleled the ship for 46 minutes!


As well as for seabirds both small, like this Black-bellied Storm-Petrel...


And large, like this Antipodes Wandering Albatross.


There were plenty of penguins on ice...


Here a Gentoo leaping aboard!


And here a Chinstrap abandoning ship!


Scenery was, as expected, spectacular...


And the numerous marine mammals tallied included this Sperm Whale.


On shore at the Falklands, the many highlights included King Penguins,


The endemic, flightless Falkland Steamer-Duck,


And the handsome endemic population of White-bridled Finch (now a tanager!).


One last look in the wake—with (top to bottom) Northern Giant Petrel, Snowy Wandering Albatross, and Southern Royal Albatross...


And a happy group partaking of celebratory drinks on the penultimate evening.

Posted: February 08, 2023