Antarctic cycle of life

We wake to a bathtub ocean beneath a Brown Bluff, a volcanic ridge sheltering a sensitive Adele penguin colony. Hundreds of Adeles zip through the water, zipping in and out of the sea like porpoises, with the same splendid grace in water that they so sorely lack on land. At the water’s edge, battalions of black and white, march to and fro, neurotically debating whether to go into the sea – necessary if they want to eat – or whether to simply keep waddling nervously along.

pengmarcha

 

Eventually, for most, hunger wins out, and they dip into the sea for a fish meal that they will ingest and then prepare as fuel for new-born chicks. Here there are many – some so new that they peck their way out of their shells as we watch. One parent closely guards the baby against a skua whose attempts to snag an egg or chick are foiled. If we have to leave, this is a splendid last stop on the White Continent.

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