Getting lucky

Weddell Seal

Sometimes you’ve go to be lucky. According to the IAATO regulations you have to keep a distance of 15 meters to seals hauling out on land. This picture however, was taken from a much closer distance. Not that I approached the seal, the seal approached me. Apparently he hadn’t taken the IAATO-exam that all guides took and didn’t know about these regulations.

We were standing on the snow, looking at another Weddell Seal, when we saw this head popping out of the water. It was clear he wanted to come ashore as well, so I quickly laid down into the snow and waited for what would happen. I was lucky, the seal didn’t seem to be bothered by us at all and slowly it crawled closer and closer until it found a good spot to rest. He really needed one, as he was yawning several times. But he seemed quite relaxed, closing his eyes after a while and having a, most likely, well deserved nap. For us the sign to slowly retreat and leaving him alone.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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