Their Physical Characteristics
Antarctica Tourist Attractions
Icebergs are beautiful fragmented shapes of freshwater ice usually found floating in the ocean. They originate from a mass of ice that has broken off a glacier (called a calcen) and has fallen into a nearby body of water. They are therefore of freshwater origin from precipitation (snow) that formed the glacier. In contrast, sea ice is frozen sea water of salty content. Icebergs come in different colors -- white, cyan, light blue, dark blue and green. White is the standard color and is a result of many tiny air bubbles in the superficial snow and ice reflecting and scattering all colors of light -- i.e appears white. In contrast, blue icebergs are made up of ice deep within the glacier which has compressed most of the air out of the ice and has very few air bubbles, so it shows its natural blue color. The ice now tends to absorb light in the red region of the spectrum and the light that you see from this kind of an iceberg will appear blue. Although icebergs are from newly broken off glaciers (that may be thousand years old), they're often mixed with flecks of black and brown from ground up rock. Their unusual shapes are caused by weathering effects from wind, waves and melting. Some of the Antarctica travel icebergs that have broken off of the Antarctic ice shelves have been monsters - one was the size of the state of Conneticut! In the Arctic, icebergs are smaller. Car or house-sized icebergs are sometimes called "growlers." The smallest icebergs are known as "bergy bits".
The World Discoverer cruises the rough Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica.
Note the iceberg to the right.Kona Coast
Multi-colored icebergs in the Drake Passage
Large "flat-top" iceberg in the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica
My ship's view of ice clogged waters near the Antarctic Penninsula
The Lemaire Channel is flanked by the Antarctic Peninsula on one side and Booth Island on the other. So photogenic is the channel that it is sometimes called "Kodak Gap". At the northern end of the Lemaire Channel are a pair of tall, rounded snow-capped peaks known as Una's Tits. The channel was first navigated by Belgian explorer de Gerlach during his 1898 expedition aboard Belgica. It was somehow named after another Belgian explorer -- Charles Lemaire, who explored parts of the Congo.
White sea ice and bergy bits contrast the blue glacier to the right on the Antarctic Penninsula
White icebergs in Paradise Bay, Antarctica
Antarctica Tourist Attractions
The Zodiac rubber boats are launched from the mother ship to explorer the waters
and shores of Antarctica
Scores of penguins ascend the cinder hills of Deception Island. A large nesting site is seen on the left, about a third the way up the hill.
Chinstrap Penguins on volcanic Deception Island, Antarctica. The penguin just above and to the left
of center has a stone in his mouth that he will use to build a nest for his mate.
Gentu penguin nest
Adele penguin feeds her chick
Killer Whales off the coast of Antarctica. The one in the foreground is a male with a straight edge to
the back of its dorsal fin, while the two in the background are females with a curved back edge on
their dorsal fins.
White sea ice in a channel along the Antarctic Peninsula