Day 4: Penguins! Penguins!! PENGUINS!!! Everywhere!!!
track: landing at Cuverville Island and first feet on the ground at the Antarctic continent at the Argentinean research station ‘Brown’ at Antarctica
notes by the Oceanwide expedition team from
the Ortelius official logbook
Position: 64°38.1’S, 062°36.9’W
Wind: E 5
Weather: cloudy, snow
Air Temperature: 0
travel log per day by Jurci Travel
Penguins, PENGUINS, PENGUINS!!!!
Up-close encounters with Gentoo Penguins, who think your camera bag or snow boats are a nice snack…
Gentoo penguins surely love to ‘check out’ these funny looking new visitors and their gear.
Trust Yourself- Break Rules, certainly is a motto those Penguins embrace. Five meters distance? Those penguins have an whole different opinion about that – as you can read at ‘key statistics of the day’ further on in this log.
Key Statistics of the day
First expedition landing: at the Curvervill Island, home to a colony of 5.000 pairs of Gentoo Penguins. These little fellows are just too funny and very curious.
Five meters: That’s the minimum distance persons need to keep from the penguins. However, as expedition leader Lynn pointed out, that are the official rules of the Antarctic Tourism Organisation. Penguins are happily unaware of such rules. So if they come to you, well, better keep your camera bags closed. As they might jump in.
Zero centimeters: Between the Gentoo-Penguin-Who-Wants-To-Assist-The-Photographer and Jurgen taking photos with our 400mm lens. Too funny! And well, the minimum focus distance for that lens is 3 meters…
Two safe Zodiac rides: At the safety briefing Cissy realized that Zodiacs don’t have safety belts. So you just sit on the side and pray you won’t fall off. Or that a whale decides to surface right under your Zodiac – pushing us all into the water. Hm.
Maybe I should apply for a job as script writer for disaster movies, as I certainly easily come up with ‘worse-case-scenario’s’.
In Antarctic reality – Zodiacs are really great!!! You get to see the icebergs up close, getting a good portion of fresh air and the speed of the boats is lovely. Check, one unnecessary phobia went overboard!
Two glue-plaster*: The attempt to disconnect the gimbal-head from the tripod, lead to some collateral damage. Putting full force, it ‘snapped’ loose, hitting Jurgen right below it’s right eye. OEPS…
Ortelius on board doctor Jacco put two glue-plasters on, no need for stitching, while Cissy was getting ice from the bar – to avoid swelling. Oeps..
Highlights of the Day
PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, PENGUINS, and of course PENGUINS!!!!!
Sorry, other highlights of the day (like seeing the first tales of humpback whales up close, and massive beautiful icebergs), Penguins steal the spotlight of the day!
Penguins wobbly walking
Penguins jumping in the water
Penguins running around
Penguins flapping their wings
Penguins being eaten by a vicious Seal (hm, not a highlight really, but relevant to the day’s experience)
Penguins slipping on the slipperly icy snow
Penguins wondering what to do with fences, i am with you, i don't like fences eighther
and clearly, Yoga is very popular hobby of Gentoo penguins!
Antarctica Penguin Fact
Cuverville Island is home to the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony on the continent, with some 5000 pairs and counting.
Gentoo Penguins are the fastest swimming Penguins, reaching speeds of up to 36 km per hour. At deep dives (where i assume the water is even more Icy, Icy Cold) they reduce their heart rate from 80-100 beats per minute (bpm) to 20 bpm. Energy saving to focus on getting their food fished out of the water: krill, fish and squid.
Sources: Oceanwide-expeditions.com and seaworld.org