Hero tied up
to an ice shelf...
Studying leopard seals, of course. The team, consisting of Donald Siniff, Sheridan Stone, Richard Reichle, and Thomas Smith, were, among other things, collecting female and male leopard seals for preservation of reproductive tracts, stomach contents, toenails, and tissue and skeletal material. Sixteen adult leopard seals (of which this is one) were collected, weighed, and sampled. They also counted seals of various species, located and studied female leopard seals with pups, and documented the seals' diurnal activity patterns, social behavior, and underwater vocal sounds. This particular cruise covered pack ice areas from King George Island south to Anvers Island...but members of this group have been studying seals in the Antarctic and elsewhere since 1973. Their cruise activities are documented in this October 1980 Antarctic Journal article.
This scientific endeavor was officially Hero cruise 79-7, between 6 and 29 November 1979. It ended after Hero departed Palmer Station and crashed into an immovable chunk of ice, punching a hole in the bow. Hero headed straight back to Ushuaia for temporary repairs, and then proceeded to drydock in Buenos Aires for a more permanent fix. Official Antarctic Journal reports indicated that a teredo infestation was the reason for the emergency drydocking. As it looked like repairs could take the rest of the season, Joe Gill left the ship at that point to return to his day job. The next Hero cruise did not begin from Ushuaia until 23 January 1980...and at the end of the season Hero headed for Long Beach, California for an extended overhaul.
Ushuaia, Argentina...end of the cruise. This place looked completely different
when I was there in November 2016.