The morning of Feb 8th we arrived at Port Lockroy and Jougla Point. Port Lockroy is a research station and historic site. The main building there is now a museum showing what life at the station was like and also houses a gift shop and post office (who would have guessed there would be a gift shop in Antarctica?). I wasn’t going to send any postcards and Carl, a fellow traveler on the Lyubov Orlova, insisted that I choose a postcard and address it to myself and he would send it. Now I get to see how long it takes for the postcard to get to me. The Port Lockroy staff also stamp passports – so of course, I got my passport stamped. Port Lockroy is also an active research site where visitors can only visit about half the island. They are studying how well (or poorly) the gentoo penguins exposed to humans do compared to those that aren’t disturbed by humans. So far it looks like the penguins do better with our presence, possibly because we keep the skuas away. The penguins are nesting everywhere, so you can’t help but walk within a few feet of nests to get into the museum, so this is the one place where you are allowed to get closer than 5 meters to the wildlife (of course, the wildlife can always move close to you – and the penguin chicks often do wander up to you in curiosity).

Jougla Point, a site on a neighboring island, has a reassembled whale skeleton as well as a jumbled pile of whale bones. There is also a healthy population of penguins and blue-eyed shags. One of the gentoo penguin chicks there is leucistic, meaning it is lacking some of the normal pigmentation of a normal penguin.

The day was beautiful and calm, so we next sailed through the Lemaire Channel, a narrow dramatic passage with tall mountains and glaciers on either side. On the way into the channel we had to avoid some largish icebergs and saw a leopard seal hauled out on an iceberg.

Once through the channel, we stopped at Peterman Island. This was our first excursion to have Adelie penguins. This island also had nesting gentoo and chinstrap penguins and blue-eyed shags. The research being done there (as well as the research staffs tents) limited where we could go on the island, but there was a great hike to a high point of the island with commanding views of area. There was more snow at lower altitudes on this Island, so I saw both Adelie and Gentoo penguins tobogganing, which I hadn’t seen elsewhere.

Since the weather was so nice, we were treated to third outing to the Yalour Islands after dinner.
There were many more Adelie penguins here than on Peterman Island and I didn’t see a single gentoo penguin. Watching the sun set with a view of Adelie penguins, glaciers, mountains, and icebergs was an amazing experience.