Magnificent & Majestic Antarctic A Sight To Behold!
Who needs an alarm clock in the Antarctic when you have a pack of orcas surrounding your ship at 6am!
December 24: Dr Anne awakes to her first morning in the icy waters of the South Pole and shares her sightseeing highlights accompanied by toy lioness Leona. Dr Anne hopes taking Leona on the trip will spread awareness of the organisation For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), which was founded by Dr Anne’s friend Donalea Patman who is passionate about restoring the essential connection between all living things to bring our planet into balance.
We were woken by our expedition leader Christian over the loud speaker in our cabin at 6am to inform us that there was a pod of about 12 orca swimming around the ship. While Leona managed to hitch a ride to the deck and witness the beauty of the orcas diving under the ship, it took a while longer for Dr Anne to rise and shine. However, Dr Anne did manage to take some photos through the cabin windows before the orcas moved off.
There was more magical mammals to be seen during the day, with humpback whales swimming in sight of the ship, but usually going in the other direction.
Mainly they were either solitary whales or in pairs. Their blows, when the whales come up to breathe, are great to witness.
One group, in a Zodiac, saw a mother and calf and its accompanying female. Once the father whale has mated with the mother, he leaves to mate with another female and never sees his calf again.
The next adventure that morning was to sail through the Lemaire Channel which is Dr Anne’s favourite place because of the many huge snow-covered mountains and glaciers. However this day the fog was heavy and the Channel could not be seen in all its glory.
In the afternoon we cruised Hidden Bay. Lauritz, our German guide, brought along a Christmas tree on the Zodiac ride to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Despite the outdoor adventure being impacted by the mist, it did enhance the mood that it was the day before Christmas and we were in one of the most majestic places on the planet. What better way to spend this time of year crossing the Antarctic Circle?
ABOUT For the Love of Wildlife’s founder and Dr Anne’s friend, Donalea Patman
Having travelled throughout her life the most defining and memorable moments have always involved animals. Even as a very small girl she can remember telling her father and his friend that riding turtles off a remote beach was “interfering with nature!” A passionate advocate for sentient beings, she has always held a deep love of wildlife and the natural world.
Donalea possesses a background in corporate business with more than 25 years experience heading her own design practice which focused on both Australian and International companies. Her first senior position was Director (at the age of 24) for a design group owned by Australian public company Elders Resources. She is Founding Director of For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, a practicing interior designer, animal advocate and lead figure in working with the Australian Federal Government with success in banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric practise of canned hunting, and currently working on closing the unregulated domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn.
A lifetime interest and study of personal development and spirituality lead to her involvement in Sacred Activism. Donalea launched For the Love of Wildlife to create a professional platform to campaign the plight of animals, raising awareness of the destructive forces annihilating the natural world and focuses on doing what she can to turn the extinction crisis around.
Donalea was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017 and awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her work for animal welfare.
For more information about FLOW please visit their website – http://fortheloveofwildlife.org.au