Brown Bluff and Erebus & Terror Gulf
Beginnings are exciting! There's always the potential for the unknown, for the unexpected, and for new experiences. Today was a beginning, the first day of a new year. Getting out of bed on the first day of January is much easier when you know there are penguins waiting for you, and what penguins! The National Geographic Explorer set its anchor off the shore of Brown Bluff, and our relatively tiny Zodiacs skimmed across the benign waves to a pebble beach beset with tens of thousands of Adélie penguins with several hundred gentoos for good measure. Like little wind-up toys, endless groups of penguins ungainly patrolled the shores looking for the best spot to take to the waves and convert into streamlined aquanauts, porpoising across the waves in search of krill to eat and bring back to their partners. Their partners, it turned out, were dutifully guarding and feeding their prides and joys, fluffy gray penguin chicks alternatively flat out sleeping as though they too had partaken too heavily in New Year festivities, and begging insistently for another morsel of regurgitated stomach contents, which probably tastes much better than it sounds. When not feeding, guarding, or hunting, small groups of penguins amused our guests by trying to dominate a small block of ice that remained on the beach. With surprising agility, penguins would hop up the slippery ice, shave off several mouthfuls to eat, peck at a nearby rival for having the audacity to do the same, and then jump back down and face-plant into the pebbles.
After another lunch of calorific proportions, the National Geographic Explorer headed south deeper into the Weddell Sea in search of the holy grail; the emperor penguin. Read More>
Jan 1, 2016
National Geographic Explorer