During a recent Lindblad Expeditions voyage to Antarctica, the National Geographic Explorer crossed paths with four killer whales and one crabeater seal in the Grandidier Channel. In the remarkable and rare encounter, the killer whales engaged in a coordinated hunting behavior, known as wave washing, as explained by undersea specialist Paul North, in an attempt to knock the seal off an ice floe.
For nearly two hours the effort continued as specialists and guests watched from the ship. Paul North explains that this behavior is only found in this species. The killer whales even attempted to crack the ice into smaller pieces in order to make it more difficult for the seal to stay atop. The ship's video chronicler Bradford McArthur captured the following footage and edited into a three-minute clip. If you're nervous about watching, we'll tell you beforehand: the seal survives 35 separate attempts and eventually escapes. Check it out below.
The encounter took place during an Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands itinerary. In South Georgia, guests will see a single rookery with tens of thousands of king penguins. In the Falklands, guests can see rockhopper penguins, and, in both, they can see albatross in great numbers. These, plus elephant and fur seals, pelagic birds and various species of whales round out the potential wildlife sightings.
Lindblad Expeditions is offering a special opportunity on the November 6, 2018 and November 7, 2019 voyages aboard National Geographic Explorer, converting a day at sea into an additional day along the Antarctic Peninsula.