Thursday, February 28, 2008

Close encounter of the cetacean kind

Local writer Kate Keeley spent two months in Antarctica on a National Science Foundation grant for writers and artists. She worked side-by-side with scientists and researchers, studying penguins and seals, and spent a few days sifting 65-million-year-old dirt for mammal bones.

A highlight of her trip was a close encounter with a humpback whale, which she wrote about for Out There.

Here are a few more photos that show how close she and others got to the whale, which can weigh 45 tons.

The researchers found "a lot of ancient sharks' teeth, a mummified seal, and possibly a bone from a prehistoric, 6-foot tall penguin," she said.

Way cool. I'm ready to go. I think Dave is, too.


kate keeley said...

Dena and Dave,

Thank you so much for sharing my story!

I was so stunned by the experience that I didn't take any pictures. So all the lovely pictures posted here are thanks to Rebecca Shoop, Chuck Kimball, and Stacie Murray.

As their pictures show, they are a talented, generous, and creative group of people. I count it among one of the great gifts of my life to have spent time with them at Palmer Station.


Jay said...

Hey mom, thats some great pictures, most have been very exciting to be next to such a great creature. I know that every day was exciting and entertaining, but i beat that just to be that close to the wheal, alone would have been worth spending the two months in Antarctica?

Dena Rosenberry said...

thanks for the shout out to the photogs. Those are glorious shots! Who wouldn't want to make the trip after seeing these images and reading about your experience!?

Dave Philipps said...

Yes, thank you Kate. The pics and story were a real treat.