Although it might seem like a small thing to see a huge whale in Antarctica, it really is quite a big deal. In the 20th century all of the great whales in Antarctica were pursued to the point of commercial extinction. Seeing a southern right whale like the one above signals the slow comeback of great whales in Antarctic waters.
Rather than being hunted by humans, humpback whales now inspect us...just who is watching whom here?
A beautiful sight indeed! Blue and fin whales sub-surface feeding side-by-side. Each of the four species of great whales pictured above were reduced to single-digit percentages of their prior to 20th century whaling populations. Let's hope that we can continue to offer sanctuary to these recovering populations in and around Antarctica and all oceans of the world.
To top it all off here is a rare sighting of an adult male Gray's beaked whale in calm waters in the Drake Passage.