A day at sea

As a guide, I spent a lot of time on ships and at sea. When I’m not busy in the office, giving lectures or chatting to passengers, I always prefer to be on the bridge with my binoculars, looking for bird- or wildlife outside. Sometimes there are hours with very little to see out, other moments it can be hectic. But anyhow, it’s always a very relaxing and peaceful time there.

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An adult Northern Gannet

When I’m at home, I do miss those moments. Looking out over the big, vast ocean for that little dot that moves in a different direction as the waves. Fortunately, there are pelagic trips as well on the North Sea. Not nearly as exciting as the Southern Ocean (both bird-wise as wave-wise), but still. Where I hoped to see some tubenoses (no albatrosses nearby, but storm-petrels and shearwaters are a possibility), a group of Gannets were the stars of the day.

 

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A juvenile Northern Gannet

At least six of them spent some time hanging behind the ship, in between the many gulls, diving for the fish remains we tossed overboard. Several different plumages, from juveniles to adults, were seen. For many onboard a gentle introduction to seabird photography from a ship.

 

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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