In calm winds this morning we loaded the zodiacs with the safety gear we had assembled yesterday. But even as we put on our flotation suits and boarded the boats, the sky was graying and a strengthening breeze was creasing the sea. By about 10:30 a.m. it was clear it wasn’t a good day to try reaching the Wauwerman Islands.
Instead, photographer Chris Linder and I went to the Adelie penguin colony on Torgersen Island. By the afternoon the gray clouds had blown past us and we were treated to brilliant sunshine and the sight of Adelie penguins in the full swing of raising their chicks. This year, unusually deep snow in the early summer had the penguin team worried about the Adelies, which normally require bare rock in order to lay their eggs.
But somehow, the penguins kept their eggs warm even on the snow, and the Torgersen colonies are now full of plump gray chicks. Click through the slideshow for a look at how they raise their young: