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7 November, 2003

We emerged from our storm-induced hibernation ready to tag some pups. Gillian and I set off for South Base and the Hutton Cliffs, while Kelly and Mark went to the southern end of that section, starting at Pram Point and working their way north to meet us at Hutton Cliffs. While the weather and visibility were still somewhat less than perfect, it was time to catch up with the pups that had been born since we last visited those areas a week ago.

You know what we did during the storm, but what did the seals do? We came across a lot of seals that looked like they had spent the entire two days lying on the ice, gradually accumulating a coating of snow. There were deep troughs in the snow that developed where they had been lying, motionless, through the storm. There were even a few pups that appeared to have been born over the past few days.

It was, apparently, a great day for swimming lessons. We saw a number of pups in the water with their mothers, getting instruction on swimming and, perhaps more important, exiting the water. The swimming pups reminded us of kids in a swimming pool on a chilly day-even though they're visibly shivering, they don't get out of the water!

When Mark and Kelly finished tagging the pups in their area, they headed back to camp and over to Inaccessible and Tent Islands to look for more new pups. While they did see a few new ones, they were even more excited by the sighting of a lone Adelie Penguin who had wandered over from somewhere near Cape Royds. I'm hoping we'll get a few penguins visiting our camp soon, as well.

As of today, we have tagged 294 pups. The number of pups continues to be consistent with the number tagged in 2001, and fewer than those tagged last year.

Daily Haiku:

Seals covered in snow

Waiting for the storm to end


Snow-covered seals after the storm.

Swimming lessons in a slush-filled hole. Brrrrrr!

This lone Adelie Penguin was wandering near Inaccessible Island

Who's watching whom?

Mark and the Adelie Penguin

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