The day after being flown over to the continent of Antarctica and we awake to a day's plan that has us heading over to Devil's Island to see an Adelie penguin colony. Based on the group numbers and the order shuffling that works to make sure everyone gets a chance at the front of the line, we are scheduled to take our second trip on the helicopters just before lunch is served.
So, knowing that we will not get lunch on board we fill up with breakfast and in snacking a lot while enjoying the beauty of the vast landscape of ice that we looked out upon. But, as we are warned often happens in Antarctica, the weather changed and just before we were due to take off the winds picked up and they grounded the helicopters so that the ship could move south closer to Devil's Island and the better weather that they were enjoying.
One nice thing is that we would then get lunch on the ship, and although somewhat full it was good to eat in preparation of 3-4 hours out in the elements. It took the ship almost an hour to move to a new position where the winds were favorable, and we did for a minute feel bad for the early groups that had gone out in the morning and were now stuck out on Devil's Island if they had wanted to head back earlier on their tour.
The world seems to like us, in that as we were at lunch and the ship was moving we happened upon a lone Emperor Penguin out on the ice. The entire lunchroom emptied to run out to get photos and I learned quickly from listening to the group next to us that in German an Emperor Penguin is simply called "Ein Kaiser Penguin".
So after the happiness of seeing a Kaiser up close we moved on to the helicopters, and a short ride later we were sitting on the fast ice looking at a 30-40 minute walk to the Adelie Penguin colony.
|I've still got my egg - I'm good.|
|Stealing a nest rock|
After we felt we had gotten more photos then we needed we headed back down across the ice and even had fun watching the penguins that were heading out across the ice towards the ocean.
|Come on buddy, it's only 2km to open water...|
That evening at a very late dinner our table recounted our stories of the day, we did feel somewhat bad about talking about seeing an Emperor up close whilst others were out touring Devil's Island, we were interrupted with an announcement that there was another Kaiser penguin just right outside. Everyone on the trip had now seen at least one Emperor, not a bad way to end our day...
|Kaiser Penguin enjoying the sunset in Antarctica|