Seals

MUSIC: (1) "African Dream" by Wasis Diop and (2) "Mourn, Sob, Cry" by Blue Asia

At our first landing on Half Moon Bay a fur seal met us on the beach. They called them fur seals because for some reason their fur was prized over the other seals.

Fur seal.

Still fur seal.

Is that a giant rat?

At Hannah Point we encountered a large harem of elephant seals.

Like all the other animals, they were unafraid of humans.

They were all females.

The males have much larger noses. We didn't see any males; I got this picture off the internet. We also didn't see any King penguins (pictured in the background).

The females were all molting.

The elephant seals were my favorites...

not just because of their pleasant personalities...

...cute faces...

...and lovely figures...

...but mostly because they made the most remarkably disgusting, revolting sounds I have ever heard come from any living species on earth. And they smelled as foul as they sounded.

Belching...

...moaning and groaning...

...and farting.

But so cute!

Driving the zodiacs around we came across many seals just hanging out on the "bergy bits."

This is a crab eater seal.

They have beautiful silvery white fur.

More crab eater seals.

  • crab eaters
  • Many of the crab eaters had scars along their bodies. They are a favorite target of the leopard seals. (The seal in the back, on the right, is a Weddell.)

    You can clearly see the scars on this crab eater.

    A lone Weddell seal.

    Weddell seals are NOT cute. They look like gigantic, slimy slugs.

    Eeew.

    That's just nasty.

    Sorry, but no.

    At Half Moon Bay... ROB: Look at that huge seal. ME: Where?

    ROB: It just moved. ME: Where?

    ME: Ahhh!

    And there he goes. I don't know what kind of seal that was.

    A leopard seal hanging out on a berg.

    They do have some spots...

    ...and they are very...

    ...very...

    ...CUTE!

    I think these are leopard seals.

    I feel like I should be able to tell if they are leopard seals or not, but Rob reminded me that sometimes even the expedition staff couldn't tell one species from another.

    Another crab eater seal (I think!) hamming for the cameras.

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