Geoff Sims @ UNSW
Home South Pole Diaries 2012/13 24th December, 2012


Monday, 24th December, 2012

Adelie penguins (Geoff)

The last 36 hours have been pretty brutal to be honest. After 3 days of being on standby to fly South and getting a total of only a couple of hours sleep during that time, I finally slept for a full 12 hours and feel refreshed.

This morning Nic & I took a walk to the Discovery Hut, around 300 metres from McMurdo town. The hut, erected in 1902, was used as a base by the legendary Captain Robert F. Scott.

We saw a number of strange rock-like objects on the snow; turns out they were Weddell Seals! They hardly moved, but very occasionally they would flap a flipper around.

We thought they were pretty cool, until we saw a number of smaller rock-like objects in another area of ice... penguins! About 25 Adelie penguins seemingly appeared out of nowhere and started marching toward us.

They approached a river of frozen ice, and weren't really sure if they wanted to continue.

But they did, and continued to hang around for about 10 minutes. We took a few photos before wandering back to McMurdo.

When we arrived back at the "office", a number of people had spotter scopes looking at the penguins. I could not believe how far they had waddled in the time it took us to walk back, and just how lucky we were for them to approach us at the very moment we were at the hut. Penguin sightings around McMurdo are not that common, and we seemed to have timed our walk perfectly. This photo shows the penguins waddling off into the distance.

The afternoon was spent discussing our plans for the Ridge-A deployment.

-- Geoff


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