Wednesday 9 December 2009

Cuverville Is. and Port Lockroy

Today we awoke to a gloriously sunny day, which meant the approach to Cuverville Island was spectacular: this tiny island is hugged by the bigger Ronge Island, and both have the massive mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula behind them. Basically, the peninsula is a gigantic collection of jagged peaks surging perpendicularly out of the sea, all smothered under thick, deep-blue glaciers. Thus, the sight is fabulous.

But apart from the views, Cuverville Is. is teaming with gentoo penguins, and we all had a good chance to look at them during our landing. We spent the morning watching them go back and forth from the colonies to the cobbled beach through their penguin highways; and also saw as the partners greeted and recognized each other before taking turns at incubating the eggs.

After lunch, we sailed south through the Gerlache strait and the Neumayer channel, and arrived at Port Lockroy at 16:00 hrs. We visited the gentoo penguins and blue-eyed cormorants on neighbouring Jougla Point. After having been awed by the powerful jets flowing out of the penguins’ rear end, we tried to capture the defecation process in photos – we basically became pooparazzi! Here’s the fruit of our labours….