Another adventurous start to the day as we boarded Zodiacs and zipped across to Tah Head. We were hoping to visit the Adelie penguin colony. Unfortunately, we were too late, as they had all left for the Southern Ocean. What we did find was a large number of male Antarctic fur seals, many of which showed their displeasure at us for being on their patch. There was also no shortage of skuas–both brown and south polar–cleaning up the scraps left by the breeding Adelie colony.
Meanwhile, many guests took advantage of the calm conditions and kayaked around the bay. They enjoyed great views of fur seals at play in the water and closely observed the penguins that remained on the shoreline, completing their molt.
After lunch, Martin gave his penguin presentation before we headed on Zodiacs toward Heroina Island, part of the Danger Island group. One of the largest colonies of Adelie penguins breeds on the island.
There were still numerous Adelie penguins, and as we circumnavigated the island in Zodiacs, we witnessed several leopard seals patrolling the waters and looking for a penguin meal. We spotted many birds, such as giant petrels, Cape petrels, and Wilson’s storm petrels picking off the remains of the many penguins who did not survive the breeding season.
It was a wonderful Zodiac cruise. Guests returned to the ship on a high, having enjoyed firsthand views of the life and death dramas of the natural world.