After herding cats all day it was lovely to be able to get out on the ice again this evening. It was rather cold, which shouldn’t be surprising considering my location, and hot chocolate back on the ship beckoned. Suddenly the most extraordinary thing occurred. A group of at least 20 penguins decided to huddle around 30 metres from where we were sitting. Without anthropomorphising too much, they appeared to have a chat, and then all at once charged in our direction. It was a penguin stampede I swear. And they just kept coming. The herd of penguins only stopped within feet of our feet. Then they started making quite the racket that attracted other penguins who came barreling in from all directions until at one point there must have been 50 penguins gathered around us. They preened, they squawked, they fought and they napped. I have never in my life been so captivated. For this reason I appear to be taking the same footage over and over again….yup penguins. There was quite the convoy that came through; every time one party left another replaced them. They really are just as curious as we are. It was quite the standoff, and of course we completely forgot that it was cold and we wanted hot chocolate. I’m not sure how much more of this excitement I can take! Luckily I have to try and help herd the cats again tomorrow, that’ll bring me back down to the ground. It’s almost midnight and I am exhausted. It’s a little hard to sleep when it’s light out, and you know who is cavorting just outside your window!
I was a PhD student at the Australian National University studying climate archives in deep-sea corals along Australia's eastern seaboard. This is me in Puerto Rico where I was diving scientifically and carrying around pineapples. I now have a proper job at Geoscience Australia and a not so proper job sometimes making science programs - www.kellystrzepek.com