Saturday, February 4, 2012

Seal Wrasslin': Because someone's gotta wrassle 'em

With Happy Camper now in the rear view mirror, it was time to get back to work...WORK WITH SEALS that is!!! As it turned out, one of my friends from the Arctic whale surveys also does seal research down here. She asked me if I wanted to help with seal physiological studies. I'm no biologist but I was pretty sure that by "physiological studies" she actually meant "SEAL WRASSLIN'! I put on my seal wrasslin t-shirt and begrudgingly accepted.

The seals we were studying were Weddell seals and apparently they are hermits because they lived way out in the boons. Not once in my entire time at McMurdo did I ever see a seal at the cardio gym OR the laundry room. Zero times. Was it then a coincidence that when we pulled our snowmobiles up to the first group of lounging seals that they were both overweight AND smelly?? The evidence is staggering. Anyhow, when the group was ready for action, we hopped on snowmobiles and cruised for about 30-40 minutes out to the first congregation of seals.

As we roared up on our snow machines, I could see maybe 15 or 20 seals just loungin around on the ice. It was like pulling up to a retirement beach in Florida with all the lazy lounging that was going on. Take a look! Can you tell which blubbery mammal lives in Florida?

From Mike's Bi-Polar Adventure

Had to think about it didn't ya? I had to remind myself that I was in Antarctica before I could get back to work. Anyhow, it was clear that these seals had a busy day of loungin ahead of them.

It pained me to disturb creatures that were so tirelessly pursuing their dream of relaxing. They were like those worker bees who spend their whole life slaving away at mastering their craft. Their craft just happened to be laying there. It was truly inspiring.

Anyhow, we did eventually do some work out there but I'm not really supposed to talk about it because I wasn't on the seal permit. So with that I leave you with these pictures of adorable seal pups. You'll forget that I'm too lazy to write a thorough post about this day in no time....

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