We attempted a landing at Right Whale Bay today, but unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us. Intense gusts of wind from the land made launching a Zodiac impossible. However, it did make for wonderful photography, whipping up sea spray. We found less windy conditions further offshore where we spent some time watching blue whales, before heading west for the Falkland Islands some 770 nautical miles away.
National Geographic Explorer
We made the most of our day today, beginning with a pre-dawn landing, paired with an outing after breakfast at Gold Harbor, where tens of thousands of king penguins nest. Elephant seals and fur seals are also commonly seen here. The elephant seals we saw today were molting—after the breeding season these massive beasts must replace their pelage prior to the winter months. They do so by slumbering around on the beaches heaped in piles to assist in the process. For the afternoon we added another significant feather in our caps by landing at St. Andrew’s Bay, where over 200,000 pairs of king penguins nest, spread out over the vast alluvial landscape. Some guests participated in our citizen science bio-blitz with a longer hike to the colony, while the remainder of our guests hiked a little over half a mile to the viewpoint overlooking the sprawling masses of penguins below.