Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, who is leading Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, has experienced what most people can only dream of; a once in a life-time encounter with Humpback and Orca whales. Below is Shane's description of this phenomenal event:
Well when I wrote you to tell you about having the best office ever...it got better.
We started our cruise at 1430 in Wilhelmina and we had about ten humpback whales in the bay. In two hour that number went to 15 to 20 by the time we hit 3 hours we had over 50 whales with in sight and driving distance. They were breaching, tail slapping and flaking almost all the time. At one time two humpbacks breached at about the same time (one was hitting the water and the other was in the air) and about 10 metres from two Zodiacs. Then it got better. A pod of orcas came in to the bay, so all zodiacs had orcas around them, swimming up to and under.
The weather was 5 knots of wind and blue sky for the entire 4.5 hour cruise.with not one person wanting off the Zodiacs.
I have been working in Antarctica for 19 seasons and I have never had this encounter with so many and active wildlife. It was such a spiritual day. I will never forget it and I will share it for the rest of my life.
Feature photo courtesy of Quark passenger Steven White.