Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brown Bluff Island

Having moved the ship back up the peninsula, we could break out the zodiacs for our next landing.  Brown Bluff Island, home to colonies of Gentoos and Adelies against a huge backdrop of brown volcanic rock.

The dark rocks always look quite dramatic against the white snow and ice, and often have other colours running through them.  The big boulders also make good shelter for the penguins - and sometimes for us too.

With plenty of ice along the shore line, it made for quite a nice island to sit and watch the penguins coming and going.

With the way that the colony was gathered, we were a little limited to where we could go without disturbing the penguins.

We tended to try to find places away from the main group and settle to watch the penguins and let them come past us without worry.
But we did find a few of our fellow guests a bit irritating here.  I would have been sat on a rock somewhere for a while, and the penguins would have just got used to my being there and start to come nearer.

Someone else would then spot that the penguin was close, and come over to try to get close to it too.  Of course as soon as this new person arrived, that the penguin had not yet got used to, it made a run for it.

Some people do have a tendency to just ignore the impact that they have on those around them - birds or people - and just do exactly as they please.  This appears to be especially the case when they have a camera in their hand.
For some reason those people seem to think that if they have a big camera - and it does particularly seem to be those people with the biggest cameras, especially if they regard themselves as something of a professional, then that somehow entitles them to do whatever they want in order to get their photos, even if that means upsetting the subject, or simply standing directly in front of someone who is already taking a photo.

OK, gripe over.  That kind of ignorance aside, this was not the best landing that we have done in Antarctica, but it was still very enjoyable.

Once I found a few more secluded places amongst the ice on the beach, I was able to watch the penguins porpoising through the water, and taking a break on the bergy bits, as well as those making their way up to the colony.

I spent quite some time watching a few penguins that were on the ice.

One in particular wandered up and down and around the berg it was on, not seeming sure whether it wanted to stay on the ice or get in the water. Eventually it made up its mind and dived in, but even then it quickly got back out onto some rocks nearby.

I concluded that it hadn't wanted to stay alone on the ice, but took a while to pluck up the nerve to get into the icy water.

It may sound strange, given that these birds spend their lives in the snow, ice and freezing temperatures of Antarctica, and now is their warmth of summer, but they do sometimes look as if they are reluctant to get in those cold waters.


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