Brown Bluff and Paulet Island

Rodrigo Moterani, Video Chronicler

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 21 Jan 2020

Brown Bluff and Paulet Island, 1/21/2020, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

Today was a very Adélie day. We awoke to bluebird skies, surrounded by icebergs. After a quick breakfast, we loaded our small boats and set off to land at Brown Bluff—an exposed portion of a glacial volcano. The rust-colored cliffs provided a striking contrast against the blue icebergs. We wandered down the beach to view breeding colonies of gentoo and Adélie penguins.

Our morning was spectacular, but our afternoon at Paulet Island felt otherworldly. This site hosts one of the largest breeding colonies of Adélies—over 100,000 pairs, plus chicks! Not only was seeing so many penguins visually overwhelming, the smells and sounds were also quite intense. No amount of literature can prepare you for seeing this many Adélie penguins in one place. It’s a feeling that will last a lifetime.

We explored by Zodiac and foot and happily boarded National Geographic Explorer at the end of the day reeking of guano! We ended the evening with a sighting of an emperor penguin and soft light on tabular icebergs. What a dream of a day.

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