We're out in the open ocean again. From the Falkland Islands it's about 1300
km towards South Georgia, a onetime whaling base, and home to a million seabirds
and marine mammals. Travelling on the Scotia Sea at 14 knots we'll reach South
Georgia in about two days.
During ocean crossings the days are filled with lectures. These lectures are held by members of the staff and deal with a variety of topics, ranging from biology to geology and history.
The first lecture on the schedule is a talk by Art Ford about the origin of Antarctica. In his talk Art explains how about 200 million years ago Pangaea split up in a northern (Laurasia) and southern part (Gondwana). Some 80 million years later Gondwana separated into Africa and South America thus forming the Atlantic Ocean and another 80 million years later Antarctica started shifting south from South America. The appearance of a circumpolar current, blocking warmer currents from the equator marked the onset of Antarctica's cooling until it's present status as "the frozen continent".
Following is a talk by Doug Cheeseman about the flora and fauna that we will
encounter during our visit to South Georgia. Doug tells us about the behavior
of the various animals and their habitat illustrated by a number of beautiful
Tim Davis, one of the professional photographers aboard, follows with a number of tips on the art of photographing landscapes. Again beautiful pictures of sea elephants, fur seals, king penguins and many more.
After lunch we decide to skip Neil Marsden's talk about
his years with the British Antarctic Survey. Although this lecture, no doubt,
will be very interesting as well we've already spend half a day inside today.
We wouldn't like to miss the nice and clear weather outside either. Many seabirds
can be seen flying around the ship, or better they're gliding with their wings
almost motionless in the wind.
At the end of the afternoon we attend a lecture by Buff Corsi about video editing
techniques. She offers us some good tips on framing, wide angle shots, mirroring
and a number of other techniques to produce a nice memory of a trip like this
The last lecture today is delivered by Julie Hagelin and deals with the different techniques used by birds to fly. She tells us that birds with short wings will need flapping to stay airborne while birds with long wings, like albatrosses can glide on the winds for hours at a stretch.