Young gentoos are herded by giant petrels. Two dozen beaked and waddling furballs scurry in a tight ball, zigging this way, zagging that way. The huge scavenger, not spying a convenient enough target, settles down to rest. And wait. There will be plenty of opportunities to come.
Across the narrow spit of land connecting peaks on Barrientos Island, a chinstrap parent feeds a voracious chick. These tuxedoed birds are way better adapted to the watery world where they hunt than they are to the rocky landscape they trip across as they travel to and from their nesting colony.
This is our first day on land after navigating through the Drake Passage—a legendary crossing known for its wild spirit. We were fortunate to encounter the beast at rest. We only experienced a gentle rocking.
The sun is shining, wildlife is abundant, and all are excited about the days ahead.