This image was taken from the Aurora Australis in December last year, after departing Casey and becoming fairly well entrenched in heavy pack ice. While waiting for the C-212 to fly over to give a direction to proceed through the ice, this killer whale surfaced right next to the ship for a few seconds, in what appeared to be the only clear patch of water as far as the eye could see. It was a lucky encounter as these special creatures were elusive for much of the voyage.Susan Doust works in the Southern Ocean Ecosystems Program in the Science Branch at the Australian Antarctic Division. She participated in last season's marine science voyage (2009–10) and has previously summered at Casey station and worked on a fulmarine petrel research program on Ardery Island, off Casey. Her Antarctic experiences have provided much inspiration for paintings and other artworks that she does in her spare time.