Subtle giants

A highlight of a Drake Passage crossing for me are usually the albatrosses behind the ship. Most common are the Black-browed Albatrosses. Other species regularly seen are the Grey-headed Albatross and the huge Southern Royal and Wandering Albatrosses with their wingspan of over 3.5 meters. Most of these species stay north of the Antarctic Convergence. The only albatross we regularly see south of this line where the cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer Sub-Antarctic waters is the Light-mantled Albatross. Not a very large species, but very subtly coloured, with the thin lines over the bill and around the eye. They are often seen in small groups hanging around the ship for some time, giving great opportunities for photographers to take pictures.

 

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Light-mantled Albatross

 

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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