Our last few days aboard the Palmer were a blur of excitement, packing and sea sickness. So how do you make a group of scientists at the end of a month long cruise literally squeal with excitement? Show them a species they have never seen before.
On one of our last science days, we spotted an EMPEROR PENGUIN FOLLOWING THE SHIP! All caps does not even begin to show the excitement. Everybody who could get out to the stern, RAN out to catch a glimpse. We woke sleeping people up to see the penguin. We crowded on the back deck, we literally squealed with delight. It was thoroughly undignified, but it was an EMPEROR PENGUIN. We should not have seen one. The closest Emperor Penguin colony is on Snow Hill Island on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. It traveled a very long way to get get near Elephant Island. We were gobsmacked. Without further ado, the emperor…
There were people onboard who have been going to Antarctica for ten years and never seen an Emperor Penguin. This was a very big, exciting deal. There is only one lovely picture, to wow you with because we were all so distracted looking at the penguin that there was very little photo taking.
So allow me to show you a lovely sunrise. Shortly after we saw the emperor we began our transit north through the Drake Passage. This crossing was much calmer. We were blessed with calm seas and beautiful skies.
It was a great cruise filled with good science and good friends, but now it is time to say good bye and head to port and home.
Goodbye friends, until we meet again.