Weddell Seal Expedition: Tagging the final seal

Patrick Robinson at the Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica--Yesterday, we were in search of our 10th and final seal and found an ice floe with several seals.  We prepared our gear and went out onto the ice to get a closer look.  Unfortunately, the seals were a bit too young for our study (we are tagging adult animals).  So, we hiked back to the ship and continued our search.  We continued scanning through binoculars from the bridge for the remainder of the day, but saw only crabeater seals.

 

 

Weddell Seal Expedition: Searching for Seals

Patrick Robinson in the Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica--After two weeks of transit and oceanography work, we are now ready to begin searching for Weddell seals.  We are in the southeastern Weddell sea in an area where chief scientist Keith Nicholls spotted animals on previous expeditions.  Weddell seals prefer areas of dense sea ice over the continental shelf in waters between 400-700 meters depth. The seals spend most of their time in the water diving and foraging, but we are looking for animals that have hauled out on the sea ice to rest. 

Seal Team Two, Part 9 - All the tags are out!

We managed to squeak out one last deployment on a crabeater seal on the way back to Palmer Station. That means all of our CTD tags are deployed! In other words, we're all tagged out!

Seal Team Two, Part 8 - Tagging a seal!

We rolled the dice a little bit today and it paid off.

Seal Team Two, Part 7 - Winter is creeping up

Well, we got a little taste of Antarctic weather in late May yesterday.

Seal Team Two, Part 6 - Success!

Today we were successful in deploying our first tag, above. And, below, that's the seal heading into the water after it's tagged.

Seal Team Two, Part 4 - Searching for seals

We left Palmer Station (above) yesterday evening and arrived at Crystal Sound this morning where the previous seal team tagged its first seal.

Seal Team Two, Part 3 - Hampered by bad weather

The bad weather has hampered the fishing crew on the Gould and cost us the extra half day of seal-catching that they were trying to give us.

Seal Team Two, Part 2 - Arrival in Antartica

The seal crew arrived yesterday at Palmer Station and met up with Gitte McDonald. We spent the day reviewing procedures, working on equipment and getting oriented to the station.

Seal Team Two, Part 1 - On the way to Antartica

Aboard the RV L.M. Gould in the (dreaded) Drake Passage. We are in the midst of a crew switch for the remainder of the crabeater seal tag deployments.

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