Clear blue skies. No wind. Spectacular.
The place was called St. Andrew's Bay. Because we had gone second the day before we got to land first this time. The water was glassy, making the zodiac ride downright pleasant. We landed on the beach and got the second of what would become a familiar ritual: Larry, our expedition leader, would give us a briefing (go here, don't go there) and then off we'd go. In this case, Larry said there was a king penguin colony down the beach on the other side of a small rise that we didn't want to miss. But the landing spot was already chock-full-o-critters, and we spent quite a while just hanging out right there checking out penguins...
And fur seals (closely related to sea lions, but not the same species)...
And elephant seals...
After twenty minutes or so we finally said, well, this is cool, but I guess we really ought to go check out this penguin colony. So we trudged along the beach and over the rise, and this was the sight that greeted us:
Penguins as far as the eye could see. A wall-to-wall carpet of penguins.
Those are all king penguins. The brown ones are chicks. At this stage in their development they are bigger than their parents, and they are absolutely fearless. On more than one occasion we couldn't proceed because we were surrounded by them, and wildlife has the right of way.
Oh, and did I mention it was Christmas eve? So of course when we got back to the boat, Santa was there:
And that was just the first half of the day :-)
I really enjoy reading you travelogue articles! Thanks so much for writing this up!
Thanks, Paul. It's good to know someone is reading them.
The penguin colony photo looks just like scenes in the movie Happy Feet.
Any problem with your camera freezing? Any fogging problems [I would expect not, as I would expect the humidity is pretty low].
No problem with freezing or fogging. It actually wasn't that cold, right around freezing. (Where I've had problems with fogging is in hot, humid climates when you step outside from an air-conditioned space.)
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