In expedition cruising itineraries do change depending on the local conditions. Same happened in my Antarctica expedition when after breakfast my expedition leader announced change of plan. Now visiting Petermann Island took precedence as ice conditions were found good there. I donned in my outdoor polar outfit with safety vest. Stepped into my zodiac, along with other members, and headed for Petermann Island.
In matter of next few minutes, I was about to discover new species of penguin in Antarctica, the Adelie penguin. Petermann Island is home to Adelie penguins. Weather was favourable, with clear sky and sun shining brightly, spreading its warmth all over the island. A little relief from icy cold winds.
Landing was along the shoreline of a small bay called Port Circumcision. Due to its irregular topography everyone was instructed to follow expedition crew.
While walking on glacial ice I observed crevasses in glacier, found thin ice layers and even saw layers melting fast. In my opinion, visitors penetration was not to be blamed much. All movements, in the continent, were strictly regulated according to the Antarctica Treaty guidelines. Global warming, on the whole, could be the possible reason behind.
As in earlier landings, a scenic hike was planned to get the best views of Petermann Island. I followed the set trail marked by red flags.
And again I found the splendour of Antarctica at its best. Picture perfect shots. Gazed at nesting colony of Adelie penguins with marvellous backdrop, picture perfect. Then I spotted Antarctic bird Skua enjoying in privacy, picture perfect. Even me got clicked in fabulous settings of Petermann Island, all picture perfect.
As far as I could stretch my vision, I saw tranquil nature at its best.
There were many breeding areas occupied by Adelie penguins on higher rocks. Few nesting points were restricted areas and not accessible from close counters.
I recall one memorable incident. While walking in snow, me and one penguin had almost handshaked. Such an emotional feeling!
There is still lot more to capture in Petermann Island. Monument, historic site and others…
MY ANTARCTICA ODYSSEY continues ….