Trip Start Jan 13, 2014
Trip End Jan 25, 2014

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Flag of Antarctica  , South Shetland Islands,
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

There are three kinds of Whales in the Antarctic.  All three were sighted, but we only saw two:  The Humpback and the Minke.  Orcas were seen one morning in the distance.

Whales are mammals, not fish.  They give birth to live baby whales.  They can hold their breath for over an hour!  Their diet consists mostly of krill. 

The Humpback whales are very friendly and like to follow ships and show off. You can first spot them when they "blow" or push water out of their spouts.  They can arch their back and "breach" and flip their tails.  They are only in this area in the summer; they migrate here for the excellent feeding conditions.  In the winter they are off the coast of Brazil. They are 55 feet long.  They can live 70-80 years!

The Minke whales are smaller and found in ice packed areas as well as open areas. They usually travel in groups of 3 or more, and have a dorsal fin that looks like a dolphin.  They do not flop their tails.  They are 35 feet long.   They can live 50-60 years.  The Japanese still hunt them in the Antarctic waters; limit of 900 per year.

WATCH THE VIDEOS:   of our experiences looking for Minke whales on the Zodiaks,  and watch the Humpback whale breeching!!!
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