All posts by franka


After leaving the the dreaded Drake Passage behind us, we had landed in the icy world of the Weddell Sea overnight.
At 06.00 we were awakened by our expedition leader, who apologized for waking us up, but he could imagine that many of us wanted to take pictures outside on deck. I opened our curtains, gobbled for 1 second at the phenomenal view outside our small window and got dressed within a record time of 2 minutes, complete with warm parka and boots, camera strapped around my neck, finding myself outside on deck, witnessing this scene glide by.
What attracts me so much to  Antarctica is the silence caused by the absence of human habitation and the beautiful richness of subtle colors. Perhaps you think of white when you think of Antarctica: white ice and white snow. But the sky of this continent is often full of beautiful pastels: yellow, pink, all shades of blue and gray and white. And then there are these different types of ice: glacier types of ice, old ice, new ice, blue ice.

views from the ship

sailing through the beagle channel

Leaving Ushuaia this was our view from the ship while sailing through the Beagle Channel, heading for Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. The snowcapped mountains in the background are the foothills of the Andes.

Landed in the icy Weddell Sea.

Parked in the ice. Our view from one side of the ship.

Parked in the ice. Our view from the other side of the ship.

The cracks in the sea ice.

breaking ice

pulling the the kapitan khlebnikov 02

It’s me, pulling and pushing the Kapitan Khlebnikov.
Even a tough icebreaker like the Khlebnikov can get stuck in the icy Weddell Sea. When that happens, everyone participating in the expedition must help out. This is me, taking my turn in pulling the rope 😉

pulling the the kapitan khlebnikov 01

pushing the the kapitan khlebnikov

exploring the world

Three pied avocet babies on their way to explore the big wide world.

Two pied avocet babies leaving mom’s protective wings while two other chicks are still underneath her belly.

The world is a cruel place. An adult punishes a baby pied avocet by biting it in its head, because it has entered a territory which was not its parents.

common terns

For me there is nothing common about the common tern. I think it’s a very elegant and streamlined bird with a fascinating way of courting.
The first photo shows a male flying by, on his way to hunt for fish for his female partner.

Female forming a nesting pit in the shell island. Or maybe this is all a part of the courtship and bonding between male and female, who knows?

Male shouting to other species in the air to prevent them from landing in its territory.