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  • Writer's pictureKen Murray

Antarctica - Dec 31 – Day 4 – Excursion to Brown Bluff to see Thousands of Penguins!

We thought we saw penguins on Madder Cliff, but oh, were we in for a surprise! Our second excursion of the day was a landing on Brown Bluff. As it is Adélie penguin breeding season, we expected to see tens of thousands of them. The weather was gorgeous. Partly sunny in the mid-30's and little wind.

The Expedition Team boarded their Zodiacs and prepared the landing site. They put orange traffic cones along the route we could walk. Meanwhile, we readied as usual in our base and mid-layers. We pulled out our second pair of gloves since the pair we wore earlier on the Zodiac cruise of Kinnes Cove were soaked. We also wore silk glove liners, which are essential to keep your hand warm if you take your glove off to work your camera. We were also becoming pros at putting on our boots, parka, and life vest now. We were ready to board the Zodiac.

We boarded the Zodiac and sped to shore. As we approached, we could see thousands of penguins. It was like a penguin Woodstock festival! We landed and disembarked, and there were penguins all around us. You’re supposed to stay at least 15 feet away from penguins, but they were waddling around within a few feet of us. We gingerly stepped to our orange-cone walkway and began watching and taking photos. I took a picture of our feet to show our first steps in Antarctica (our first excursion to Deception Island was in the South Shetland Islands and part of South America).

We walked along the path and marveled at the momma penguins in their nest with their young. We watched them waddling on the “penguin highway” as they make their way to and from the water. Penguins eat krill, so they go to the water, eat krill, return to their nest, then regurgitate it into the mouths of their young.

The Expedition Team estimated there was over 100,000 penguins on Brown Bluff. That number doesn’t surprise me, as they were everywhere. Here are some photos of Shelly and me, and of course, penguins.

The penguins are obviously used to humans. Here's a photo of a fearless, flightless, waterfowl waddling past Jonathan.

Here's some photos of the island, ship, and kayakers.

It was time to head back to the ship, so we made our way back to the Zodiac and boarded. On the way to the ship, I took this photo of a bunch of penguins on an iceberg.

We boarded the ship all safe and sound, got into dry clothes, and prepared for dinner. What a fabulous excursion! We were looking forward to seeing in the new year in Antarctica!

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