Antarctic Fur Seal Trek: Looking for Pups

Dan Costa, aboard the Yuzomegeologia, near Livingston Island - After a long day at sea waiting for the weather to turn, we woke up this morning and the sun was shining. It's been 6 years since I last visited Cape Shirreff. It's nice to be back. It's certainly a special place. We spent the morning unloading gear and supplies and then went off to a nearby island to census fur seal pups there. Once that was done, we left our colleagues at the Cape and went to Window Island and counted more fur seal pups. It was so sunny that I got sunburned!

Fur Seal Trek: Weathered In

Dan Costa, aboard the Yuzomegeologia, near Livingston Island - Well, our luck finally ran out. After a wonderful corssing of the Drake Passage from Chile to the Shetland Islands, and a very easy day of offloading supplies at Copa Field Station, we had hoped for the best as we made our passage to Cape Shirreff. The weather was promising as we were able to make it through Nelson pass and save a lot of time getting to the Cape. However, just as we were arriving, the weather picked up. Fifty-knot winds gusted to 70-80 knots.

Fur Seal Trek: Copa Camp

Dan Costa, at King George Island, near Antarctica -- This is the first in a series of short dispatches from an expedition to do a fur seal survey, starting around Livingston

16 Fur seals tagged...out of 60,000

We deployed the last tag on Sunday in the Cape fur seal rookery at Kleinzee, on the shores of a DeBeers strip-mining diamond mine.

Why Tag Fur Seals?

One of the things that TOPP does is develop biologging techniques and technology -- putting satellite tags on animals who roam the ocean and send back data.

Diamonds and Fur (Seals)

Greetings from South Africa!!

We're on the northwest coast of South Africa in the middle of a diamond mine.

Antarctica, Part 14 - Dodging the Drake

Today we found out how lucky we were to have made the crossing of the Drake when we did. Apparently a low pressure cell has moved in behind us and the Drake is now a washing machine.

Antarctica, Part 13 - Leaving with a splash

We moved about the L.M. Gould last night as we made final preparations to sail.

Antarctica, Part 12 - Packing up

Yesterday we saw the return of the L.M. Gould as she returned from the ice-fishing expedition to obtain samples for research here at Palmer Station.

Antarctica, Part 11 - Last seal search

Today was probably our last survey for crabeater seals. We didn't see any, but we did find a group of Antarctic terns resting on the ice.

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