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Antarctica HD JONATHAN BIRDS BLUE WORLD

Coming up on Jonathan Bird's Blue World, Jonathanheads to Antarctica at the bottom of the Earth to explore the incredible wilderness and marinelife of this frozen continent! Don't go away! Hi, I'm Jonathan Bird and welcome to myworld! Antarctica! The frozen continent. Its hostileconditions and exotic marine life are legendary. For years I have yearned to travel to thebottom of the Earth to see this magnificent frozen world for myself. And finally, I'vedone it. Getting from the United States all the wayto Antarctica bottom of the Earth take nearly a week. And it starts with a flight to Ushuaia,Argentina at the tip of Tierra Del Fuego

Often called the gateway to Antarctica, Ushuaiais a beautiful little coastal city in Patagonia at the base of a large mountain range. Many of the ships departing for Antarcticause Ushuaia as their port. Ushuaia is surrounded by a large NationalPark. Rugged, craggy mountains tower above Ushuaia.They're beautiful, but of course, I'm more interested in the underwater scenery. So, I'm spending a day in Ushuaia to doa couple dives in the Beagle Channel. The Beagle channel is a long, narrow passageof water protected by land on both sides.

Well, we're finally going to go diving inUshuaia and I'm really excited to try to see something that they're famous for. Youmostly see it in the restaurants downtown, but I want to see it alive—the giant KingCrab. Captain Carlos from Ushuaia Divers untiesthe boat from the dock and we're on our way, under a beautiful blue sky. It's summerhere in the southern hemisphere, and even though Ushuaia is very far south, the airtemperature regularly makes it into the 60 degree range, sometimes even the 70s. The water temperature is more like 45 degrees…aboutwhat I'm used to diving at home in New England.

That means I will be wearing my dry suit timeto get ready. It keeps the water out with an airtight zipper like the one on a spacesuit. Unfortunately, the dry suit is quite buoyantfrom all the air inside, so I have to wear a lot of weight to submerge. My gear is cumbersomeand heavy, but that's the price you pay to dive in cold water. AHAA!! Alright! I'm ready! Well, let's go check it out! Underwater, the Beagle Channel is beautiful—filledwith huge kelp forests stretching towards

the surface. This kelp is a kind of fastgrowingalgae that can grow several feet in length every day. Swimming through the kelp is really fun. Ifeel like Indiana Jones exploring a wild jungle. The kelp can grow tall without a strong trunkbecause it floats, thanks to these little air pockets at the base of each leaf. The kelp is so thick, it blocks out the sun. As I look around the bottom, I see there arelots of other things growing here, like a variety of sponges encrusting this rock outcropping.

But clearly, the Beagle Channel's most impressiveanimals are the crabs. Everywhere I look, crabs jump out of my way as I approach. Mostof them are these little red crabs with a body about the size of a quarter. But there are also decorator crabs, coveredin camouflage, apparently willing to hunt the smaller crabs. And another crab, climbing the kelp to safety. But at last I find what I came for—the crabthat rules this patch of ocean—the King Crab.

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