We cruise the ice in the Weddell Sea near Marambio Base
The Adele Penguin reigns on Paulet Island
The cormorants are gathering nesting material underwater
Our penguin lovers are NOT disappointed by Paulet Island!
A lovely Snow Petrel on an iceberg off Paulet Island
Le Boreal - December 29, 2011
Weddell Sea/Paulet Island, Antarctica
Temperature: 28.4˚F (-2˚C)
Wind speed: 5 knots
Cloud cover: 100%
Making steady speed through the night Le Boreal arrived along the edge of the Weddell Sea pack ice at 0500 this morning. The Expedition Staff gathered on the bridge in hopes of finding us one Emperor Penguin if only to glimpse. So many have come down to Antarctic for many years and not seen one, would we be able to say we had? For those who joined them so early the answer was yes, a glimpse we would cherish. With the ice moving quickly in the currents around us it was next to impossible to keep track of the Emperor.
Lowering the zodiacs by 0730 the Expedition team was ready to take us out amongst the pack of the Weddell Sea in search of wildlife and to pass along information on our surroundings. Scattered amongst the ice we found Adelie Penguins hitching a ride on the flows as well as a Weddell Seal.
Sailing north Captain Marchesseau maneuvered Le Boreal through the pack ice and icebergs in a continual search for more wildlife as we headed for our afternoon landing at Paulet Island. As we ate our lunch we struggled to pull our eyes from the scenery, like none we had seen before, passing by.
Before we knew it Paulet Island was off of our Port bow, an extinct volcanic cone with its 1,115 ft (339.8 m) peak dominating the landscape. And covering almost every last bit of that landscape was an estimated 100,000 plus breeding pairs of the prototypical Adelie Penguins. There wasn't a face to be found without a smile from ear to ear, despite the pungent smell, not to mention the blue skies and warm temperatures that seemed to arrive with us here.
Returning to Le Boreal just before the dinner hour we quickly changed and made our way to the dinning room. It had been another truly wonderful day; another day that we would say was the best of our voyage.