. There were some funny scenes where the chicks, were both ´tapping´ the parent who would feed them on the underside of the beak and then when the parent wasn´t having any of it and walked away followed closely by both chicks, and then had to run away, chased by both chicks, and this developed into a Benny Hill closing scene, except not speeded up into fast motion, but actually in fast motion. The parent could have to run around for a couple of minutes all over the place.(One theory we learned was that the parent does this on purpose to get the chick to exercise and build their muscles otherwise they would just sit in the one place and whinge for food – this might then help then to run from evil seabirds who prey on them). We got back on the boat on the other side of the island. It was very smooth water, with some ice floe´s to manoeuvre in around and a lovely sunny, and as warm as it gets, day, jackets were opened, hats and gloves were not needed.
After lunch, after we had sailed a little bit away, we went out for another excursion to Brown Bluff. Another smaller rookery of Adelié penguins with a few Gentoo penguins as well, but not many. Thes e were the first true steps on Antarctic proper, not an island off it. There were glaciers all around the back of this snow free mountain at the front. We walked all along the beach, seeing a couple of weddell seals here as well
. There were Skua´s as well trying to steal from the penguins as well, more their regurgitated food (krill normally) than the chicks which were big enough not to be helpless (although they are pretty much useless at defending themselves anyhow from any attack). The chicks at this age would be in ´creche´s´ of 6-12 perhaps, with less parental watching, so the parents could have more time to fish for food. We spent a couple of hours there then walked back to our landing spot, and just past it to get a view of the glaciar proper, the people who were there literally just before I arrived, got to see a huge chunk of it break off, I heard it from around the bend so just got to see the aftermath floating in the water, impressive sound though. We showered after the trips, as we smelt of fishy penguin, not pleasant, It was a long day, so after dinner we retired after a drop of wine, having sat at the table by the back door with the Texan girl and Melbourne girl during dinner, by the cold draught when the door was opened. I had still the beginnings of a sore throat/glands coming on so took to my bed, not too long after dinner but prob bout 11pm if truth be told.
Today we were going to touch the Antarctic for a ´continental landing´. So we set off for our first day on the Zodiac´s (rubber dingy´s) from the ship. This was about 9am. They hold 10 passengers each (although at push 12) plus driver standing up. So we were split into 6 groups of 10. We were in group 5 so were one of the last to leave. After sailing through the Antarctic Sound and past the final tabular icebergs we arrived to Paulet Island. This is home to 200,000 pairs of Adelié penguins, and their chicks. They have two chicks each. What you don´t see on the film is the smell, its like the worst fish factory you could imagine, but they are cute. So there is a set of rules we got the previous night re. how to behave in all of Antarcitca ie. No food, no litter, no taking anything or bringing anything, etc. So we went on to the beach, and saw our first penguins and fur seal, we took loads of snaps and then walked around the island. Although there was a 5m distance rule from the wildlife, it was fine if they walked closer to you and on occasion when we climbed up a wee hill, the only path through the penguins was about 1ft from them on either side