Friday, February 6, 2009

Arrived in Antarctica: Petermann Island - Feb 6

We’ve landed in Antarctica.

As I drove my motorcycle off the ship and onto the ice I really felt like one of the early explorers. Looking back in my rear view mirror, seeing the ship, the ice, and the penguins, was overwhelming!

OK, the above isn’t exactly accurate. Try as I might, I couldn’t get them to let me take the Kawasaki on the boat. But I felt really bad for the Kawi… it had come this far and wouldn’t get to go the last bit with me. So I took a piece of motorcycle to Antarctica: A rear view mirror. At least I could honestly say that I had gone to Antarctica WITH the bike, if not ON the bike.

Our first view of Antarctica was unimaginable. Critters and scenery that had only existed for me in National Geographic or postcards.

All of our landings were made in Zodiacs. Sometimes more dry than others.

Antarctica is penguin country. They own the place. Willy is EVERYWHERE. We saw three different breeds of penguins, and didn’t have a landing with at least some to keep us company. BTW, it’s impossible to be sad while watching penguins. This is a Scientific Fact!

This was getting close to the end of the breeding season, but there were still plenty of chicks around. These are Gentoo.

Adelie Penguins were also plentiful, but not as many as the Gentoo.

It was always interesting to watch feeding time. Mom and dad go out to sea, eat krill, and come back to regurgitate it for the baby. Mmmm... fresh puke. But the babies seem to like it!

As the chicks molt their baby feathers, they are sometimes left with some interesting haircuts. This style is called the Mohican.

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