St Andrew’s Bay: lots of pictures of #penguincity

    St Andrew’s Bay was a picturefest, so this post is mostly decorative too. I wrote at the time that Jordi warned us of a river crossing and potential weather changes. The morning, though, was spectacular, the hills and glaciers all around the bay standing out against the sky … Continue reading

Ocean Harbour: Bayard and birthdays

We anchored at Ocean Harbour, across the bay from the listing, rusting hulk of the Bayard. There’s a strange continuity for the old whaling ship was scuttled in 1911, the year Europa was launched half a world away in Hamburg. Now Europa visits and her crew crane their necks at … Continue reading

Shackleton: leadership fit for purpose

  Sir Ernest Shackleton died in 1922 at Grytviken. He was back in the south to re-attempt the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Crossing but his heart finally failed as he stayed here preparing the expedition. He is buried in the tiny graveyard overlooking the bay, the biggest marker among the simple white … Continue reading

Reindeer and spaceships on the Stromness headland

The zodiacs prepared to land on a small beach across the bay from the Stromness whaling station. Over the steep headland lay Leith whaling station, where Europa would re-anchor and collect us. The kelp is thick along these rocks, giving us a challenge to get close enough in to land. The … Continue reading

Fortuna Bay: my rucksack goes hiking

Three coastal indentations east of the Bay of Islands lies Fortuna Bay, a deep cove in the cliffs surrounded by ice-covered peaks capped with perfect lenticular clouds. Here we spent the night after the excitements of Salisbury Plain. Alone on anchor watch, I saw the sky lighten in the slow, … Continue reading

M is for migration and life on Mars: #AntarcticAlphabet

Penguin chicks lie among the pebbles. Still nearly complete, some of them, beaks agape and wings extended as if the raw spine might haul itself up and zombie-walk to the sea. Remnants are arranged into memento mori, reminiscent of Victorian child shrines kept by loving mothers. Scraps of bone and feather … Continue reading

Working on the highway

All colonies have a highway (or several) to the sea, like this one at Salisbury Plain. They use this route to the sea and it is important not to disrupt it: penguins have right of way on their commute. The chinstraps, like those at Half Moon Bay, like their rocky, … Continue reading

Prion Island: nesting wanderers

The prion (in Antarctica, where there are no cows) is an abundant seabird. There are several species, primarily differentiated by their bills. They fly fast and low and so I have no good pictures of them. The point of Prion Island In the Bay of Isles, though, is that it … Continue reading