Thursday, January 18, 2007

Antarctica Journal day5 - January 18, 2007

Beaver Dock - still no beavers...

Still blowing 40. No worries though as we have plenty to do. Hiked to the ocean to see what kind of waves all this wind makes and was not disappointed. Mountains of blue water smashed against the cliffs. Sheets of spray blasted off stacks of stone. Jerome says we will leave tomorrow but this is killer water today. The dock may be getting old but this water would get you dead.

We photographed Gentoo penguins coming from the sea and climbing up the hills. The young penguins charge after their parents harassing them for food. Finally when they can't take it anymore mom regurgitates a bit of fish and as the young penguin scrambles for it so do the red beaked, red footed, red-eyed dolphin gulls. The Upland Geese and Kelp geese are everywhere.

There are not a huge variety of species here but there are a lot of what is here. Birds, birds, birds. I mentioned the blue stones I found. Turns out the reason they are so smooth and round is the penguins eat them with the krill and fish they catch and they help in digestion. When they are pooped out they are polished smooth. But I don't know why they are blue.

We saw Jerome's reindeer herd which made this place look just like the Aleutians. And of course he and Leif sheared two Falkland sheep-then cut their throats and skinned them. Leif has kayaked all the way around Beaver Island and "to town." Town is Stanley. It is a 6-day paddle.

Oh yeah. For lunch we had gentoo penguin eggs. The whites are clear and the yolks are bright red.

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