Leopard Seals, King Penguins and Snow – did our Antarctic season start early? No – we are in Isla de los Estados and today we had all three. The days started with about 2 inches of snow on deck. It was sticky snow and perfect for a mini snowman. After leaving our evening anchorage we headed to Bahia Colnett to scout for a good landing site. The winds were in our favor (from the SW) so we had a fairly dry landing and then we went walking. The day was snow, then blue sky, snow and wind, blue sky no wind. In the middle of one of those times, it was a bit grey and I was watching my feet on the cobble beach. When all of a sudden, there was a leopard seal on the beach – his grey coat matched the rocks nearly perfectly! We radioed to the others to give them a heads up. We continued further and what did we see waddling towards, us, white bellies shining in the sun? Five King penguins. Three years ago Ocean Tramp did a trip and there 13 King penguins and a few eggs. We were hoping to find the 13 plus some more. Instead we found 5 molting penguins. But 5 are better than none and we all sat down in well distanced places and took many photos of these glorious animals.
Meanwhile the archeologists were checking around if there were any artifacts and our otter guy, Ale, found many instances of otters in this bay – paths, tracks, poops! So a very successful morning for all.
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