Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands - Dec/Jan 2014/15

An iceberg is battered by wind-driven waves, Antarctica

A benthic ctenophore, or comb jelly. Very unique. Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

Sea birds

A black-browed albatross and many blue petrels fly over the productive Southern Ocean

Shag Rocks

A black-browed albatross soars over Shag Rocks, an important roosting and nesting sight for sea birds near South Georgia.

A playful and curious leopard seal, Antarctica

Tough enough

A young Antarctic fur seal sits very confidently in front of the National Geographic Orion, near Stromness, South Georgia

Trouble

Two young Antarctic fur seal pups come close for an inspection. Soon they will be far too toothy to allow them to be this close.

Courtship

A pair of king penguins court on the cobble beach of Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

All bark

A juvenile male Antarctic fur seal plays pretty tough, but he's still a few years away from being a real force to be dealt with. South Georgia.

Entry

Chinstrap penguin

Drake Passage

To reach the Falklands, South Georgia, or Antarctica takes a long passage in some of the most temperamental seas on the planet.

Headcount

Thousands of king penguins on the shore of St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia

Starburst dolphins

Commerson's dolphins can be extremely playful and very curious. Falkland Islands.

Encounter

When something new enters their world, Commerson's dolphins have to come over for a look. Or twenty. Falkland Islands.

Ice takes innumerable forms. Sometimes it's better than art.

Green water.

Crossing to the Falklands from South Georgia. Against the prevailing weather.

Curious Commerson's dolphins and a Zodiac full of very happy people. Falkland Islands.

Hundreds of thousands of lack-browed albatross nest at Steeple Jason, Falkland Islands.

Curious Commerson's dolphins and a Zodiac full of very happy people. Falkland Islands.

Rockhopper penguins are one of the toughest birds around. Although they look goofy, they're full of determination and skill. Falkland Islands.

Curious Commerson's dolphins and a Zodiac full of very happy people. Falkland Islands.

Black-browed albatross at Steeple Jason, Falkland Islands.

Black-browed albatross at Steeple Jason, Falkland Islands.

New Year on sea ice.

Ice diving with Erin

Antarctica has unique invertebrates, like this large sea spider. Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

Type B killer whale, Antarctica

Female Type B killer whale, Antarctica

A long-armed sea star and dive buddy Erin

Gentoo penguins

Windy conditions whip waves that carve ice bergs, Antarctica

A Weddell seal resting in the shallows of a freezing Antarctic bay.