12 More Days!
How close were you to the leapord seal? What's the difference between a leapord seal and a sea lion? Are leapord seals dangerous to humans?
Have you seen any other animals so far?
Have you gone diving yet? How was it?
Maddy Ahnert, Elizabeth Holland, and Semhar Mengisteab
I have been closer than I would like to the leopard seals. The closest was probably the other day when we had to bring the divers back into the zodiac. He was about 8 feet away from me. The ones in the photographs I've posted have been between 10-20 feet away. Yes, leopard seals can be dangerous to humans which is why the divers don't stay in the water if we see one. Leopard seals can be up to 12 feet long and 500 or more pounds. They are ambush predators who eat penguins and other seals. Leopard seals are in the family Phocidae (along with most other seals) whereas fur seals are in the family Otarridae (along with sea lions). Sea lions and fur seals have external ears (leopard seals don't) as well as hind flippers that can rotate forward so they can walk on all fours (leopard seals can't do that and aren't really adept at walking on land).
I won't be diving while I'm here; I am a dive tender. In order to dive in the Antarctic, you need to have completed 80 successful dives. In college I got my Open Water One certification (that's the most basic SCUBA certification you can get) and I've probably only been diving about 10-12 times total. I don't have enough experience to dive here.
I've seen a ton of animals:
-Antarctic fur seals
-southern elephant seals
-sea stars and more
You should page through my journals. There are lots of great photos and videos of the wildlife I've seen. I'm not a very skilled photographer but it's EASY to take good pictures here.
Have a good day!
Hi Elizabeth, Maddy and Semhar!
Thanks for writing. I'm glad you've enjoyed the wildlife photos. I have a lot more to share. I'm on the ship now and am heading back in the direction of Chile. It's a long journey, but I'm enjoying myself. I look forward to seeing all of you soon and to our next Polar Ambassadors meeting. I think we should have a party!