In the morning the National Geographic Explorer was sailing on calm seas in the Weddell Sea towards Paulet Island.
Paulet Island has a fascinating history, having been the landing site for Larsen and his men during their attempt to reach Nordenskjold at Snow Hill Island just over 100 years ago. We landed and were able to walk towards the hut that was built on this site, today a spot where we saw both Adélie penguins and skuas.
On Paulet Island, some of us explored the area near the hut and the colony, others went to the lagoon and over the hillside, and some explored the area by the water, heading out towards large tabular icebergs. Adélie penguins and imperial shags were plentiful both on land and in the water, while skuas explored the penguin colony looking for eggs to steal. Along the shoreline on the walk back from the long hike, plenty of Weddell seals were found hauled out on the beach along the way.
The vessel moved northeast to the Danger Islands mid-day and found three humpback whales along the way. The Danger Islands were named for their ability to be hidden by the massive tabular icebergs that are abundant throughout this area. This island group is part of an Important Bird Area, and it is home to approximately 1.5 million Adélie penguins.
Upon arrival to the northernmost island of the group, Heroína Island, we set out in zodiacs to explore. The island is covered in Adélie penguins and imperial shags, and it is surrounded by icebergs. The night was not over as the vessel continued in search of Emperor penguins on ice!