Sunday, 26 February 2012

Drake Lake!!

Incredibly calm waters - is this really the Drake?!
Photo © Annke Timmerberg
There are two forms of experiencing the Drake: either the Drake-Lake or the Drake-Shake. Today, the smooth version gives us the opportunity to obtain our sea legs in a nice, gradual manner. Not like other trips where passengers need to cope with waves and rolling straight away! 
The bad side of such amazingly calm waters is that our biologists struggled with their birding workshop on deck: no objects of interest showed up at all!

No birds...
Photo © Annke Timmerberg
The reason is that the birds of this region use dynamic soaring as means of locomotion. They need wind in order to glide effortlessly through the air. If there is no wind, they have to flap their wings and that consumes a lot of energy. In this case, they tend to rather rest on the water and wait for the wind to pick up again.

However, there are 8 more sea days to come. There are good chances we will go through rougher weather (almost certain I would say!) and this also means there will be many more opportunities to watch the beautiful albatrosses!
In lack of birds... a theoretical photo-workshop

...and finally the ONE bird - a black-browed albatross!!
Photo © Annke Timmerberg