Wednesday, 26 January 2011
The first landing spot which the Expedition Leader chose for us today was Cuverville Island. It houses an enormous colony of gentoo penguins. We saw that a large proportion of the chicks have been born far too late in the season to have a chance of survival. This, we learnt, is partly due to global warming and the resulting greater quantities of snow which fall during the winters nowadays. Consequently the nesting sites for the penguins are snowfree too late in the season for the penguins to be able to complete their breeding cycle in time: a rather sad reminder of the careless use man makes of the whole planet. Apart from the penguins there was a lot of whale bone on shore which captivated our interest; and a fierce looking leopard seal was patrolling the shoreline. It kept sticking its head out of the water and sizing us up as if it wanted to decide who us might be the tastiest morsel for it. These seals are actually quite capable of making a human their victim so care had to be taken as we were leaving and boarding the boats.