Jan's Antarctica Adventure 2007-8 travel blog

King penguins swimming around the ship

Wall to wall king penguins as far as the eye could see...


Sunrise 0411, sunset 2157

Arriving back at Macquarie Island this morning, we were hopeful of the prospect of zodiac cruising at Lusitania Bay near the southern end of Macquarie, but had to wait until fairly late in the day to launch the zodiacs due to weather conditions. It's difficult to describe the scene. Hundreds of king penguins frolicked and swam around the ship, while on the beach it was just wall to wall king penguins (an estimated 70,000 pairs) as far as the eye could see. The king penguin is the second largest species of penguin and can grow to 1m tall. They eat small fish and squid and not so much krill and other Southern Ocean crustaceans. They can dive to over 100m-200m, which is far deeper than any other in the species.

There is some dirty weather ahead, so the Captain has made the decision to start towards Hobart this evening, so there will be no landing on Macquarie Island, which is a little disappointing as it would have been great to explore this Sub-Antarctic island and its wildlife further.



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