25 March 2020
Over the course of our adventure, we explored many different locations along the Antarctic Peninsula and witnessed a huge range of different environments and wildlife.
Richard and Anzac reflect on two different experiences in this blog post. One, engaging with the inquisitive chinstrap penguins, and the other, the mysterious, breathtaking, and varied landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula.
“The thing that will stick in my memory for a very long time is our experience on Robert Island. This was our first engagement with the penguins. We were sitting underneath the penguin colony, which was on a steep cliff, and in front of us were some chinstrap penguins who wanted to get past the line of yellow-jacketed people. We were completely strange to them, and they were new to us. The group stayed completely still, nobody moved. The penguins – two of them – looked at the group… came a bit closer… continued to look at us. Eventually, they selected a gap to go through. Without any hesitation or concern, having made their decision, they hopped up the rocks, passed these bodies, until they were right beside me. The penguin looked at me as it passed as if to say “hi, I’m just passing through on my way home”. The chinstrap always looks like it’s smiling, so it was a very friendly engagement. There was something about that which made me feel very humbled in this environment. The animals trust us, they aren’t exhibiting fear. That was the sense I had on Robert Island in my first engagement with penguins.” – Richard
“I think one of the most significant experience for me was on the first day of kayaking when we did three excursions on one day. We got to experience three very different environments, and the conditions changed too. The last excursion of that day was at dusk, and all of a sudden, all of the icebergs and rock faces became very moody, and the lighting was almost unnatural. The water was glassy and flat, and there was just silence. That was pretty incredible. That experience evoked the greatest sense of “wow, we are really in a very different place”. It’s an alien environment to what we are used to, when the very light in the sky throws you off and is different. It’s been incredible having all the wildlife encounters, but on that excursion, we didn’t see anything at all, which almost added to that silence and tranquility. We were the only pieces that were moving and creating noise. So that has really stuck with me.” – Anzac
Written by Inspiring Explorer Ihlara McIndoe