On Day 4 we were in the Penola Strait region of the Antarctic peninsula. The area has the most amazing basalt rock…and a lot of penguins, of course! Booth Island and Port Charcot are one of the few places all three species of brushtail penguins – Adelies, gentoos, and chinstraps – nest together. I did not hike to the location where the Adelies were, mostly because everyone said they were nervous and very uneasy when people went near them. The scenery, the water, the rock were all so beautiful I decided to sit and just contemplate, or meditate, about the incredible place I found myself in. A friend took a photo of me as I sat on a rock, being mindful of my surroundings. As I sat quietly, a couple of Gentoo penguins came right up to me on my rock, and I did snap a couple of photos of one of them. It was an amazing start to the day.
Pals on the basalt and snow.
All of the brushtail penguins nest during the Antarctic summer.
I couldn’t help but just sit and gaze at the beauty of the area.
Isn’t this beautiful? It was so incredibly still and peaceful.
This penguin came right up to me as I sat still.
Here is another penguin stopping to check me out.
After a lovely morning on the island, we were able to take zodiac rides around Petermann Island, surrounded by ice floes and incredible icebergs. We ran into a huge Leopard Seal snoozing on an ice floe. These animals are huge! The large females can be 1300 pounds and 10 feet long. They can be dangerous, but also surprisingly gentle. Paul Nicklen, a NatGeo photographer, dove into water and observed Leopard Seals. A large female, instead of attacking or killing this interloper, tried to help him. She brought him dead and live penguins in order to feed him and teach him to hunt. Obviously, Paul Nicklen captured some amazing images of her. Seeing Leopard Seals up close was incredible. My travel buddy, Annie, was kayaking with me when we saw a leopard seal hanging out on an ice floe!
Ice is everywhere, and beautiful in its different colors, shapes and sizes.
The dark blue is glacial ice.
It was so still!
Yes, leopard seals smile!
There is something snake-like about their heads.
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Tags: adventure travel, Antarctica, explore, featured, ice, leopard seals, Lindblad Expeditions, national geographic, penguins, seals, snow, whales