979-5192 - Natural history staff from the Lindblad Expedition ship National Geographic Explorer doing various things in and around the Svalbard Archipelago in the summer months. Lindblad Expeditions has run expeditions to Svalbard since the 1980's and remains one of the premier Arctic Expedition providers to this very day. No property or model releases are available for this image.
979-5135 - Guests from the Lindblad Expedition ship National Geographic Explorer kayaking near Monaco Glacier on Spitsbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago in the summer months. No property or model releases available for this image.
979-4571 - The Lindblad Expedition ship National Geographic Explorer transits Lemaire Channel in late evening light on the west side of the Antarctic peninsula in Antarctica. Lemaire Channel is a strait off Antarctica, located between the mainland's Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Antarctica; steep cliffs hem in the iceberg-filled passage, which is 11 km long and just 1,600 meters wide at its narrowest point. It was first seen by the German expedition of 1873-74, but not traversed until December 1898, when the Belgica of the de Gerlache expedition passed through. De Gerlache named it for Charles Lemaire, a Belgian explorer of the Congo. The channel has since become a standard part of the itinerary for cruising in Antarctica; not only is it scenic, but the protected waters are usually as still as a lake, a rare occurrence in the storm-wracked southern seas, and the north-south traverse delivers vessels close to Pleneau and Petermann Islands for landings. The principal difficulty is that icebergs may fill the channel, especially in early season, obliging a ship to backtrack and go around the outside of Booth Island in order to reach both Pleneau and Petermann Islands.
979-4474 - The Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the Southern Elephant Seal), and is near the top of the Antarctic food chain. It can live twenty-six years, possibly more. Orcas are the only natural predators of leopard seals. Females are generally larger than the males. The bulls are generally 2.5 m (8.2 ft) to 3.2 m (10.5 ft) and weigh between 200 kg (441 lb) and 453.5 kg (1,000 lb), while cows are between 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) and 3.4 meters (11.2 feet) in length and weigh between 225 kg (496 lb) and 591 kg (1,303 lb). In 2003, a leopard seal dragged a snorkeling biologist underwater to her death in what was identified as the first known human fatality from a leopard seal. However, numerous examples of aggressive behavior, stalking, and attacks on humans had been previously documented. The leopard seal has also been known to snap at people's feet through holes in the ice.