Our visit to Antarctica and South Georgia is now behind us and we are sailing the high seas towards Tristan da Cuhna and Cape Town.
We have wonderful memories of the places we have visited ... and hundreds, if not thousands of photographs. It has been a privilege to be able to visit wildlife in their natural environment. Each landing was different and special in it's own way. I will never forget the feeling of wonder on our first landing in Yankee Bay - imagine stepping off a zodiac into the living room of gentoo penguins and fur seals. It was so magical.
Then there was the snowy landing at Half Moon Bay where we still in awe watching the chinstrap penguins standing in the snow patiently waiting for their moulting to finish. The magestic backdrop of Fort Point and Brown Bluff took our breath away again as we wandered amongst penguins and seals. Of course we kept the minimum 5 metre distance, but no one
told the penguins and seals about this perimeter! Indeed, the South Georgia Kind Penguins never got the briefing at all. If you stood still they would come right up to you and look at you rather inquisitively. Then they would pose and say 'come on take my photograph' without so much as uttering a sound. And so we did - we took hundreds of photographs of penguins - each special in their own way.
But what do we do with all these photographs? Well, I have 5 young grandchildren and have decided to make a book of the penguins that we saw - Gentoos, Chinstraps, Adelies, King, and Macaroni. I didn't get a good look at the Macaroni's but Paul undertook the steep climb to see them so the book will of course be called 'Grandma and Poppy's Book of Penguins'. Penguins sitting, standing, swimming, flapping, incubating, guarding their young, stretching, pecking, sleeping ... you name it, there will be a picture for it. It will be a vocabulary builder for sure. And what a pleasure it will be to read it to them and relive all those wonderful memories of walking amidst these special creatures.
For now though, we travel the high seas. The wind is up, the swell is rolling the ship around to and fro, and the sun tries to peek out from behind the clouds. As we roll back and forth Poppy lies in his bunk battling sea sickness. But it has all been worth it - he can look at all those penguin pictures when he feels better.