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Day Nine Part One: Cuverville Island

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017

Dave!Despite the fact that we're in the Antarctica summer months, it's still feels very much like winter here. Snow is everywhere and the skies are overcast and gray. It's also fairly chilly, but ultimately warm enough that I find myself stripping out of my winter coat. A fleece with my thermal underwear is more than enough.

Today's first excursion was at Cuverville Island, which is prime breeding ground for the gentoo penguin. We're told that 5,000 pairs of them breed here annually, which is a lot of penguins...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguins

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguins

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguins

The penguin eggs are a delicacy for many predators. Skua birds just love to swoop down and make a quick meal out of an unattended egg...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguins

Global warming is endangering breeding beaches, forcing the penguins to seek higher and higher ground. This is unfortunate, because they move quite poorly on land. In the water they are graceful and fast, on land they are awkward and clumsy. They're constantly falling over as they try to make their way from one spot to another...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Fall

To make things easier, penguins navigate the landscape via "penguin highways" that are created from endless birds walking the same paths over and over again...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Highway

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Highway

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Highway

Penguins are curious creatures with odd behaviors that are fun to speculate over. This penguin, for example, just stood in one spot for the longest time with his flipper out like he was directing traffic or something...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Traffic Cop

Which might have come in handy for these penguins that ended up "stranded" on an iceberg...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Iceberg

My favorite thing to to do is watch dirty penguins head to the water...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Bath

Where they swim around, get cleaned up, and have a bite to eat...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Bath

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Bath

Then return as clean penguins, drying themselves in the breeze...

Cuverville Island Gentoo Penguin Bath

And... that's all she wrote for Cuverville Island. Time to navigate the icy waters back to the ship...

Leaving Cuverville Island

And... here's where we are now, very close to our last landing...

Antarctica Map
©2017 Google Maps

Later today we're making our first landing on the actual continent of Antarctica instead of the surrounding islands as we have been. More than a little excited for that!

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Categories: Photography 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Lora says:

    I so enjoy your travel posts. Your photography is gorgeous and you go a lot of places I will most likely never see. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Andy says:

    Loving these photos Dave -the place looks beautiful!

  3. david says:

    An Amazing Adventure, thank you for sharing.

  4. Love these pictures! I think you’d planned to get an even higher end camera for this trip, but the shots you got look great! Can’t wait to read the rest of the posts.

  5. Annette says:

    Thanks for your beautiful photos and usual great commentary. :-) You might be interested in the videos of Mr Ben Brown, whom I follow on You Tube. Search for his arctic expedition. I do believe he was on a former research ship, similar to yours. He’s an early 30’s guy from London/Capetown. Great photography.

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