Today National Geographic Endurance arrived at Staten Island. The Argentinian government has only allowed visitors in the last few years, Lindblad being the first. We invited a number of observers onboard, and we attempted to find a suitable landing this morning. The weather was not on our side, however, and we decided to explore using Zodiacs instead. Fortunately, nature had our backs, and we found an impressively large and relatively easy to observe colony of rockhopper penguins! These charismatic birds tend to raise their chicks on inaccessible cliffs facing the sea. Here, we observed hundreds of adults and chicks in the later stages of moulting before heading out to sea. The waves were best described as “energetic” and there was a constant light rain, but our guests wouldn’t be denied a glimpse of these penguins! We were able to get close enough for some decent photography of the penguins under challenging lighting conditions. Those without cameras took out their binoculars, and it wasn’t long before the rain and the waves seemed to wash away.
Following another hearty lunch, we landed at the location of a former prison. All that remained were some fragments of wooden supports on the beach, a half-deconstructed stone hut, and a modest cemetery. We were able to reach the other side of the island relatively easily, towards Vancouver Bay. Upon our return, we were treated to the unusual sight of a solitary king penguin looking regal yet somewhat out of place at the edge of the beach.