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South Orkney Islands and Penguins on Ice

Paulette Island
Paulette Island
There were two main draws this morning: #1: big blue tabular icebergs, and #2: penguins porpoising through the water. Which led to the natural confluence of the two, and a sight we'd all been waiting for: penguins on ice. Better than Disney on Ice, penguins on ice are a combination that so greatly enhances the spectacle of either it's almost unfathomable. Plus, we were now moving into chinstrap penguin territory. Chinstrap penguins, as I like to explain, are amazing in that they have a strap on their chin. Swoon.

The Argentinian Orcadas base in the South Orkney Islands gave us a chance to stretch our legs on land today. Crew members can be on the island for a year or more, and even though this particular crew had just arrived the day before, they welcomed us on land and toured us around the island, which is deep with history of various explorations. Inside we ate cookies and had our passports stamped, and outside we watched penguins: a healthy array of gentoos, chinstraps, and a new contestant in the mix: the adelies. Energized by the excursion, the rest of the night was filled with happy hour and dinner and drinks with friends old and new. We fought over the last Beagle Stout and cached a secret stash hidden away from our rivals. And I must admit that we felt just a hint a pride that we drank them out of this beer only midway through the trip.

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