Get Great Photos of Penguins in Sub Antarctica
Caution – If you are planning a trip to Sub Antarctica and want to swim (or plank) with the penguins, beware of the Killer Whales! – In the water you will look like a yummy Penguin to them!! (See photo at bottom of post!)
On a calm day in Sub Antarctica at Macquarie Island, the east coast is not too rough, and there is a slight South Westerly wind of around 15 to 20 knots, it’s a good time to go boating!
IRB’s or Inflatable Rubber Boats are an essential mode of transport in Antarctica and Sub Antarctica. At Macquarie Island it is the only way to get any quantity of gear or supplies to the huts other than helicopters – but they are only available during re-supplies – weather permitting!
We head off, three boats in all, toward the southern end of the island – Hurd Point. The waters around Hurd Point are notoriously turbulent, particularly off the east and west coast, and on a calm day as we head around to the southern tip the seas slowly rise with a swell now of up to 2 metres in places – and that is on a calm day! The swell is all over the place bobbing us up and down like a cork, the salt water fairly spraying our faces as it breaks over us, it’s a hell of a ride and it gets the blood pumping.
After dropping some supplies off at the hut we head back to base along the east coast. By now the sun is shining and the wind has dropped and it’s a real pleasure soaking up the sun and enjoying the scenery with the salt air in your face – it’s great to be alive!
Swimming or Planking with Penguins on Macquarie Island?
As we approach Lusitania Bay we can see the largest King Penguin rookery on Macquarie Island, which at the time had around 80,000 + pairs of King Penguins. The beach and the water near by is an array of black, white and orange/yellow.
We kill the motors and just float by, King Penguins are very curious by nature and they flock around us in no time, coming incredibly close to the boats. I have my waterproof camera over the side and under the water snapping away tirelessly. Then someone says in jest – “why not jump in the water with them”
Why not! The dry suits we have on are watertight and the buoyancy jackets will easily keep you afloat! Mmmm – Just keep and eye out for the Killer Whales!
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