We awoke to a glorious sunny day for our first land excursion at Petermann Island.
Sometimes you just had to stop and take it all in. This is Antarctica.
Across the Peninsula there are different refuge huts or Refugios sponsored by different countries for researchers to stay in for a few days. This one was surrounded by a Gentoo colony.
Sun and Smiles
Melissa and Charlotte smiling at the antics of the penguins
Nest with a view
Gentoos nest of the edge of a cliff with a great view of the humpbacks lounging in the strait.
Too late for a mate?
Tough to tell if these two were a couple or rivals. They didn't seem to have a chick and it was pretty late in the season to start laying an egg now. In the short summer any chick hatching now was unlikely to mature fast enough.
The penguins wore paths or superhighways in the snow from their rockeries to the water. We needed to be careful to stay off the paths lest we leave a boot hole which could trap a penguin.
Dude...you're in my way!
A parent sits on the nest keeping a chick warm.
Getting some sun
We weren't the only ones who liked the sun. Parents and chicks were enjoying the warmth too.
A chick gets a yummy(?) breakfast a regurgitated krill.
Parents would take turns caring for the chicks. While one stayed at the nest as a meal ticket and for protection, the other went off to fish for shrimp like krill.
Get my good side...
This tiny chick would have been hatched within a week. It was pretty small and the protection from the Skuas who were always on the lookout for a meal.
Warm and dry
The new chick needs the warmth from it's parent. Penguins build their nests on rocks to allow drainage so the eggs and chick are kept away from the ice.
Double the fun
Most parents would have two chicks a season. They wouldn't always both make it but we saw many families of four.
A few weeks older and the chicks are getting out from under their parents and seeing a bit of the world. They don't stray far though.
There was an Adelie colony on the island too and the chicks were much larger than the Gentoos. As Adelies are the smaller of the penguins I surmise they would need to hatch their chicks earlier so they are full grown well before the cold.
Not there Dad!
...on my head...
...yeah right there, that's the spot.
Catchin some rays
Waiting for mom to come back with lunch.
You got anything in there for me?
Nom Nom Nom!!!
...there's a bit more back there, hang on.
1 and 2 and 3...
Rosie (and her fellow scientist Michael) from the Oceanites organization hitched a ride on our ship to do a census of the nests and population at our landing sites. They were allowed to break the 5m rule.
Penguins are not a quiet bird. They will honk for just about any reason.
I think this is my favourite Gentoo pic. Lots of possible emotions in that look.
The chick is honking out how happy it is to have a mom around.
Ready for my closeup
The Adelie's always gave me the impression of being movie stars with their dolled up eyes.
Could it be....
...is it foods time?
Awwww come on! Give us some!
You got a little....ummm...nevermind....
Mom keeps me warm and my brother makes a good pillow.
On the right edge you can just see the cairn marker in honour of three members of the British Antarctic Survey who died in a 1982 attempt to cross the sea ice from Faraday Station to Petermann.
Penguins have adapted a supraorbital gland which extracts excess salt from sea water.