Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Petermann Island welcome................

January 26, 2013
Good visibility, overcast
Wind: W 2; Sea: smooth; Air Temp.6C(41F)

..........the scenic majesty of the Antarctic ice.
The best way to see it is from Zodiacs....or sea kayaks for the brave. I'm kicking myself now for not being one of those brave souls who slid cautiously into the 2-person kayaks and paddled away from the ship on that cold water. If there's ever a next time I'll be doing it, if the sea is smooth like this.....

Afternoon in kayaks - cold but perfect sea conditions.

A rousing welcome from members of the Gentoo penguin 
colony on the island.

 This Gentoo colony is the most southern in Antarctica....

.....about 12% of the world population are found this far south, approximately 2,000 breeding pairs. As penguins go, they are the least aggressive and quietest. They feed close to shore, often within 2.5 miles of their nests. Male and female share incubating and chick rearing duties and for the first 25 days of a chick's life it will be constantly guarded by one or the other parents.

I love this shot I caught of the parent sitting 
on top of the chick with its little 
orange beak sticking out........

....and this is the back view with the chick's tail and 
orange feet just visible.

Feeding an older chick.

Arriving ashore - always so exciting wondering what's in 
store once you've clambered over icy banks and rocky ledges.

Looking back to the ship at anchor. 

Photo via Paula
The shags were nesting in with the penguins - their chicks 
large, downy and extremely hungry.

The other penguin colony on Petermann comprises of 
500 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins. The chicks were large, 
in the 4-5 week range, ravenously hungry so energetic and 
quite comical feeding chases occurred where adults would 
pummel chicks if they tried to take krill from the 
wrong parent.
Adelies are the fastest growing of the penguin species, 
reaching adult size, weighing 7 pounds, and becoming 
independent within 50-56 days of hatching.

Click on pics to enlarge - turn on Lightbox in your Settings to make it even better!

Next time - a stunning morning Zodiac 
trip with the giants of the sea.


  1. Your adventurous spirit continues to be an inspiration! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these wonderful pictures.

  2. The penguins are delightful.
    Love, love seeing the little one tucked under the parent. I hope you get another opportunity to kayak too.

  3. I never knew there were so many variations of penguins. How sweet to see that little one peeking out from under her mother.
    Such stunning photos of a landscape that is utterly foreign to me, but oh, so beautifully compelling.

    Thank you, Mary.

  4. Mary, these photos are amazing! What beauty there is there. I love the penguins, especially the mama sitting on the baby. The view looking across the ice and rocks to the boat is stunning. Thanks so much for sharing these photos. In know you probably have thousands that you took and it must take a long time choosing ones to share. Have a great week! Hugs, Pamela

  5. There could never be such a thing as too many penguin photos. I love them. And these are spectacular. Thank you!!

  6. Wow, what an amazing trip and your photos are amazing too!
    The blue and white ice is so beautiful. The penguins are adorable. You captured such great shots of them. The little one under it's mother is so sweet.

  7. Dear Mary,
    Your photos are absolutely stunning. Something out of National Geographic! I hope to someday visit this majestic part of the world. But I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to go into a zodiac. I do not know how to swim!
    Cheers from DC,

  8. Oh Gosh! Fantastic. I love the shot of the penguin chick peaking out from underneath its mother/father. Brilliant! Chel x

  9. Fantastic photography Mary - I adore your Antartica photos - there is something soooo delightful about penguins!
    Shane ♥


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