Sunday, April 14, 2013

Half Moon Island..........................

January 25, 2013 - Half Moon Island, So. Shetland Islands
Good visibility, mostly cloudy
Wind W: E4; Sea: Slight; Air Temp. 2C (35F)

Here, I'm continuing my January journey to to enlarge, use Lightbox if you enjoy viewing pics that way.

Our 5:00 AM wake up call brought this amazing scenery..........looking from the windows of my cabin, blurry-eyed and yawning, I shivered at the cold landscape at dawn and decided yes, gotta get dressed and head for shore! 

The red buildings are the Argentine Camara Station on the southwest side of the island.........we were not invited for a warming coffee!

The island, at the entrance to Moon Bay, is just 1.2 miles long and crescent-shaped, the height of the mountains on such a tiny  piece of land was quite stunning. Zodiacs were soon launched, most passengers were up and raring to go.

As I was landing in the second group, I was able to get pics of the first group on shore - the glacial ice was huge with plenty of blue.

M/S Expedition anchored in Moon Bay - old wooden boat on shore where the 3,300 breeding pairs of adorable Chinstrap penguins seemed undisturbed by our sudden arrival.

Coming, going......or just dancing!!!!?

The hike up the very slippery slopes to the point where the chinstraps were feeding their chicks was well worth the effort - as always, penguins had right of way on their highway

Those amazing gigantic feet - perfect for rock climbing, 
no Wellington boots required................

....and a cute tail for balance. The penguin way to go!

And go they did. Back and forth from the sea where they 
fished for krill.............

.......having a bath and preen along the way to wash off 
the stains from the red krill............

........then back up the slippery slope, krill in their 
gullets to feed the waiting chicks.

The chicks were quite large so probably 5-6 weeks old, and 
very hungry.

For us walking the rocky beach was a treat - besides the penguins there were fur seals.............this one napping and paying no attention to us..........

..............and impressive views showing the crisp coldness 
of the ice, rocks, and sea coming together at the shoreline. 

via Paula

Do I look frozen?  Not quite, but it was cold.
Don't forget, there's no bad weather, just the wrong clothing!

We returned to the ship mid-morning and repositioned to Deception Island for a fun afternoon of swimming - well if a Polar Plunge is your idea of fun. It wasn't part of my itinerary - although I have to admit, if I ever go back I'll do it! Don't you kick yourself when you miss out on a one-of-a-kind experience like that? Come on, haven't you ever had the hot water run out in the shower?

As you can see, I'm still trying to catch up on the remaining Antarctica posts.............a few more to go - maybe the most spectacular yet once we actually reach the Seventh Continent.


  1. Swimming?! Tell me you are kidding, Mary!

    These are amazing pictures, the penguins don't seem to mind your visit at all. Beautiful scenery, as always. This is a trip you will not soon forget!


  2. Your Antarctica adventure has been really enjoyable to follow and seeing all the comical little characters that inhabit it.

  3. How exciting and beautiful! Love those little penguins, LOL. And yes, I've taken cold showers before and they are dreadful!

  4. I was so happy to see more photos from the trip. I can almost hear the penguins and feel the cold. It's hard to imagine anything more spectacular than the pictures you posted today, especially the fourth one from the bottom.

  5. Awe inspiring. Beautiful, but very harsh looking. Yes, you do look cold :-). I love seeing pictures of this trip. Looking forward to more.

  6. Such beautiful and stunning photos Mary! How fun to walk among the chinstrap penguins and be that close to them and the seals. The ice formations and the blues are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing more of this fantastic trip! Enjoy the day.

  7. Mary I am so envious of your ability to get to travel and your wonderful photography skills.It is great the penguins will let you get so close.

  8. Finally spring has finally shown up here, but your photos made me wish for some more winter....

  9. The surroundings just make the red stand out, spectacular! Beautiful! Yes, swim if given the chance again. Brrrr! By the way I like the photo in the header, it reminds me of traveling on the train through France on my way to the UK. Also I don't think I have ever seen a chin strap penguin before, what a treat.

  10. Wow... That is just amazing. I can't imagine ever taking a trip like this. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Mary, I so enjoy all of your travel pictures. The blue on the ice is beautiful. Amazing photographs. Love, love, love the sweet penguins. They are one of my favorite animals. Thank you for visiting me today and leaving your kind comment. Bonnie

  12. Watch out David Attenborough, Mary's after your job! These photographs are amazing, you take us right along with you every trip. The chinstrap penguins must have been fascinating to see.

  13. I thoroughly enjoy these photos of your trip, and your accompanying narrative. The photos of the first group against the scenery really show the perspective and how grand the landscape is in relation to the people. Such a cold, unwelcoming place, yet the penguins thrive there. Creation/Nature is a marvelous wonder. I'll likely never get to visit these places, but I do so vicariously through your photos.

    I'll be happy to swim in that water vicariously as well. You go right ahead, Mary!

  14. I forgot how close you got up to those chinstrap penguins! Wow! Great stuff.


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