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Find filming krill, a tall order to fill

Roger Munns and Nick Guy are two cameramen whom the BBC has sent along on our research cruise to the Antarctic to film krill, preferably large schools of them being attacked by predators. Not an easy assignment.

Nick Guy films while Roger Munns takes photographs of seals.

Early this morning, the two of them went out with the zodiac to look for krill in the fjords of South Georgia. On the vessel the researchers are busy calibrating echo sounders and sonars. There is little chance of finding antarctic krill in these fjords but Nick and Roger took the oppoertunity to test their equipment and get into the chilly antarctic water for the first time since leaving Uruguay.

Nick and Roger scout for birds known to be feeding on krill as the zodiac speeds across the water. According to the two Brits there isn’t much videotape of shools of krill. BBC wants videotape of this for a major program series named Life which is scheduled to air in a year or two.

Nick and Roger are unable to locate any krill in the sheltered waters close to South Georgia. Penguins and particularly seals, however, are plentiful. Nick and Roger photograph seals playing in the water. On one of the beaches there are reindeers walking amongst penguins and seals. Norwegian whalers brought 30 reindeers many years ago which have now mutiplied and become a herd of 3000.

Reindeers, seals and penguins on the same beach.

Roger Munns freedives and stays submerged in the cold antarctic water for up to a minute.

Roger Munns's videocamera.

The search for krill goes on for so long that the zodiac almost runs out of fuel. After a trip back to the research vessel to refuel and a quick breakfast Roger takes his underwater camera and goes for a swim in the cold Antarctic water. He is freediving and the cold water limits his ability to stay under water. Roger is able to film the curious and playful seals that come to investigate what is going on. Out on the open ocean there may be more chance of finding schools of krill close to the surface, but also more likely that wind and waves will make it impossible to leave the ship.

G.O. Sars