Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Petermann and Pleneau

Morning: visit big penguin colony at Petermann Island: lots of Gentoo penguins, a few Adelies – Adelies are gradually relocating further South. Penguins quite funny trying to walk… Feeding ceremonies – two chicks chasing an adult. A skua bird eating the remnants of a penguin… Nice, sunny day. Akademik Vavylov shows up – two identical ships hanging out in the bay. Kayaking in the afternoon.
Kayaking: absolutely amazing. Perfectly still, Lake Sammamish-in the morning-still, no wind and lots of wildlife – sixteen seals we came up to, three more swimming about and a few more just off in a distance… Penguins serenely popping out of the water, swimming about. Speaking of penguins – it’s a bird, but it doesn’t fly. It spends most of its life on land, but it’s really not so good at walking, and it’s by no means a fish, but it’s a damn good swimmer. Graceful too… and hunted by leopard seals, of course.
Evening: sailing through the LeMaire Passage (named after a Belgian explorer of the Congo… hmm…) – stunning sunset – bright red ahead and behind (The captain announced, in Russian, to the crew that they should come out and see the sunset – it’s one of the best he’d ever seen!). Prior to sunset an odd barbecue on back deck – a bit cold… Spend the evening with drink in the bar.

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