Peg’s Penguin report from Antarctica

Peg is on a ship in Antarctica today, filling in for a colleague on a trip specializing in photography. Here are exerpts from some of her emails home.
So. Georgia
I mailed you a postcard today from the whaling station museum on these far off isles. Maybe I’ll beat it home! Today we got out and got a walk, up to a higher viewpoint and way up, about 400 ft. was a colony of Gentoo penguins. so hardy to climb like that on their funny feet. They were busy building nests and courting, very cute. Yesterday we also had jade green water from glacial melt and I stared at it with full admiration.
We did have a wonderful day today, the first Weddell seal, lots of beautiful mountain scenery and for me a special species, the So. Georgia pipit, no easy feat to find
Blue Ice and the 7th Continent
We are totally surrounded by the most beautiful ice, huge HUGE tabular bergs floating, in front of them intense blue bergie bits that roll and catch the waves. Both Adelie and Chinstrap penguins are perched up enjoying the sun, after gray and windy days and an extra day at sea to get around the pack ice, we have ARRIVED. And it is so stunningly beautiful that people are all aglow.
Behind the bergs there are huge mountains and glaciers. Here in the Antarctic Sound it is nice. We are in the waterway that is at the tip of the peninsula that cuts it in two, heading for an Adelie colony at Brown Bay. Its lovely and I wish you could all be here with me. Love to you all!  Peg
Adelie Penguins, new to me
Yesterday was by far the best day of the cruise, exquisite beauty and
adorable penguins who were at total ease with us in their amazingly
remote colony. If you were somehow here for just one day,
this would be it.
This site was different than any we had visited to date. Behind the
large Adelie colonies was a magnificent display of volcanic rock. A
stunning, caramel-colored welded tuff layer was sandwiched in between
alternate layers of dark breccias and vesicular basalts. There was a lot
of snow, but Adelie Penguins were well in place on nests. Many were in
the water, porpoising alongside our zodiacs as we headed for the beach.
Along the shoreline, some swam like ducks with heads and tails above the
water. Cape Petrels, which we’d tried so hard to photograph from deck,
were all around us in rippled water, gleaning invertebrates from the
kelp. They cast perfect reflections and John spotted a great opportunity
for us to capture this within added reflections of a stranded piece of
ice. Mary Ann has several of the group down on their bellies, eye-level
with penguins emerging from the water. Some of the group caught rate
images of ‘flying’ penguins this way, a fun and different perspective.

Chinstrap penguin image by Greg Smith

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