We awoke to a beautiful day. A light breeze swept across the blue waters from the ship to the sandy beach where we were to land, and then head over to the black-browed albatross, rockhopper penguin, and blue-eyed shag colonies.
Knowing this in no way prepared us for the utterly gorgeous morning we were about to have in the presence of these and other magnificent creatures. As we made our way to the colonies we saw upland and ruddy-headed geese, a number already with goslings, and the occasional Falklands thrush and long-tailed meadow larks with their resplendent red breasts.
The rest of the morning was spent sitting on the edge of the colonies thoroughly enjoying the penguins and albatross as they went about their courtship, bonding, and in some cases already caring for their newly laid eggs.
It was hard to step away from the spectacle, but we made our return to the ship for a brief lunch before heading back to our landing, where we started our long five-mile hike to the northern part of the island. Those who opted for a shorter hike remained on the ship a bit longer.
Both options were so very good, and at the end of each we were rewarded with close views of several gentoo penguin colonies—they are so quiet compared to the more boisterous rockhoppers—as well as some stunning wildlife along the beautiful sandy beach.
We returned to the ship for the Captain’s Welcome Cocktails and Dinner thoroughly spoiled after a stunning first day on these beautiful islands. We can’t wait for tomorrow to continue our experience.