Today we woke up at Paulet Island. The island itself is a geological formation called a tuya, which forms when a volcano erupts beneath thick ice. The swells were too high for safe shore landings, but we made the most of our morning by getting out on Zodiac cruises. Each Zodiac group had their own unique sightings, but nearly all reported seeing Antarctic fur seals feeding on penguins, non-food Adelie penguins swimming, standing atop brash ice, and mountain climbing as well as many other birds such as kelp gulls, southern giant petrels, and Wilson’s storm petrels. Because we were not able to land, we avoided the pitfalls of penguin guano (namely the stench and cement-like qualities on our boots). Success!
We spent the lunch hours motoring to our next destination, Tay Head. En route, we came across our sister ship National Geographic Resolution. She gave us a show by performing a “donut” maneuver for us. Immediately after, we saw a massive tabular iceberg which was well over a mile in width.
Upon arrival to Tay Head, three activities were offered. We could take a long hike, a medium hike, or take another Zodiac cruise. For many, this was a rare opportunity to truly stretch our legs for an extended period. Between walking on a glacier, climbing a rock feature for its views, or visiting an Adelie penguin colony, all hikers reported successful missions. Both Zodiac cruisers and hikers saw more Antarctic fur seals than one could possibly count.