Amos Nachoum, expedition leader and founder of BigAnimals Expeditions, has prepared a unique Antarctic adventure that for the first time ever in this region allows for in-water activities with the Emperor penguin and Leopard seal.
Amos has long searched for ways to bring people closer to the superstar wildlife of Antarctica. He says, “I have found what I was looking for around Snow Hill Island. That is where we find Emperor penguins, Leopard seals and possibly Orcas involved in spectacular predation activity.” Amos has prepared an adventure that will bring six guests closer to the Emperor penguin than ever before, with snorkeling activities and a visit to a rare Emperor rookery.
Emperor penguins are well-known as “movie stars.” Audiences have seen them in “March of the Penguins” and also in the noted BBC production “Frozen Planet.” Now, for the first time, six expedition guests will be permitted an up-close-and-personal look at this spectacular wildlife in their own habitat.
Snow Hill Island is a remote island located at the heart of the Weddell Sea. During the spring months, (September – December in the Southern Hemisphere) this area is still covered by thick ice, making it impossible to reach. Five years ago, a rare Emperor penguin rookery was found here. Emperor chicks hatch out of their eggs by October, and by late November/early December, they are ready to go out to sea.
“To prepare for this adventure, I have extensively interviewed other expedition leaders who have been on the island (though no one among them has been snorkeling, only cruising with Zodiacs or exploring on the island). I learned that the Leopard seal arrives just when the Emperor chicks start to go to the water and possibly at the same time the Orcas make their appearance. This was valuable information!” Amos said.
He has selected the optimum trip dates for snorkeling and in-water activity: Dec. 4 – 14, 2012.
It is an ambitious operation. For 14 seasons in Antarctica, Amos has been working with Oceanwide Expeditions. The expedition in December will utilize the 300 ft. long Ortelius – a vessel with the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A), and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and is able to loosen multi-year pack ice. Oceanwide has also brought in two helicopters from New Zealand. Amos will use the helicopters to shuttle passengers to the rare Emperor penguin rookery.
Based in San Francisco, California, Mr. Machoum operates and leads the cutting-edge adventure-travel program Big Animals Expeditions, http://www.biganimals.com. His voyages take him and his guests all over the world to observe, photograph, understand and revere the most magnificent creatures on the planet, their pattern of behavior and survival. Therefore he is called “the Ambassador of the BigAnimals”