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After our last glacier stop we headed out on the final leg of our journey. We were cautioned that during the night the ship would leave the sheltered channels to travel in the Pacific Ocean for a while before entering the Strait of Magellan. To be careful when walking about; use the hand rails… Our cabin was mid-ship on the main deck so likely one of the most stable rides of the ship. Of course the more expensive cabins on the higher decks pitched & rolled a bit more. Nonetheless we felt a gentle roll during the night with a few items rattled loose in shower. (A woman at breakfast the following morning asked the staff if that was the roughest seas they’d ever experienced and I had to squelch a laugh. Remembering the rough seas I’d experienced years ago on a research cruise in the North Pacific when we wedged life vests under either side of the mattress to not get thrown out of our bunks. A sea story for another day… )
We arose before dawn and headed to Magdalena Island to see Magellanic penguins! Being at a high latitude—dawns and sunsets go on forever.
Zodiac silhouetted against the dawn sky.
Dawn was cool and windy. So of course the penguins were mostly snug in their burrows. This guy (gal?) however was checking us out.
The island was mostly sand, burrows & feathers. Lots of burrows and lots of feathers.
A juvenile molting before the long winter migration north. Evidently much of the colony had already left on the trek—traveling as far as Peru.
Slowly waking up with the sun. They are adorable creatures with their formal outfits and waddling gait. A few had started hopping into the water as we were lined up to head back to the ship. Looking for breakfast I presume.
Spotted this cluster of penguins down by the shore. Not sure what they were conferring about. (A bit blurry as my trusty Lumix wasn’t quite up to the job.)
After visiting the penguins we headed to our final stop. Sadly. My spouse was ready to stay onboard for the return journey to Ushuaia. Passengers had been divided into five groups for various activities during the cruise: OAT tour; Road Scholar tour; German speakers; Spanish speakers, and our group of ‘independent English speakers’. I think there was one more small tour group, but I never caught the name. This evening during dinner at a lovely hotel up above the town, I watched the Ventus Australis head back south on its return journey.
A couple tugs boats snugged us up against the pier. The ‘independent English speakers’ were the last group to leave the ship. After clearing immigration, my spouse headed off in search of an ATM for Chilean pesos to pay a taxi. By the time he returned all the taxis were gone… And we were again on our own to bumble our way to the next destination.