Saturday, 9 November 2013

Oh happy daaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the early morning we reached WestPoint Island. Our first view out of the window showed us that this would not be an easy landing. The wind was blowing and we had a huge swell. But we did not give up; we wanted to see the Black-browed Albatrosses and the Rockhopper Penguins. Our first try has not been successful but the 1. Officer Benny turned the ship a bit in another position – and we could go. Another dream came true.

Black-browed Albatross

First we walked over the island to see the albatross and penguin colony. Once we have been there the weather changed; the sun came out and we got best possibilities to enjoy our morning next to the wildlife. Our pictures will give you the best impressions what we could see. It was so unbelievable that some of us had even tears in the eyes. There are not so many places on earth where you can come so near to wild animals. Here we had the feeling to be even part of the wilderness.

Next to the colony

Black-browed Albatross portrait

Rockhopper Penguin portrait

On our way back we have been invited to the farmhouse where Kiki offered us her fabulous cookies and English tea. It has been a real English teatime, perhaps a bit early in the day, but more than wonderful. Next to the house we could watch a lot of birds too. It was nice to sit in the garden and observe Turkey vultures, Siskins, Thrushes and of course Caracaras and Geese.

Black-chinned Siskin; FriedaPhoto

Turkey Vulture; FriedaPhoto

Long-tailed Meadowlark; FriedaPhoto

After lunch and a short rest on board we started our second landing of the day in Sounders. David Pole - Evans, the owner of the island welcomed us at the beach. David is one of our keen blog followers and reads the FRAM blog every day. David – thanks for giving us the possibility for such a great experience!

Thanks to David; Photo: Walter Torreon

The spectacular beach was full of breeding Gentoos, we saw our first King penguins and a huge colony of Rockhopper Penguins and King Cormorants.   Of course we saw Upland Geese and Kelp geese, some Caracaras, and even more, we cannot speak about all we have seen.

Remains from the whaling and sealing time in Saunders

King penguin; FriedaPhoto

Commerson's Dolphins; FriedaPhoto

Macaroni Penguin; we saw a couple in the Rockhopper colony

Look at the pictures and you will understand our enthusiasm.