Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’06:

The Mawlers Go Bi-polar

Yalour Islands Around-the-World Shot

Mikkelson Harbour Pictures 12/11/06

There were lots of penguins here, but the snow is really the biggest character in every picture from Mikkelson Harbour.


Here's the orange hut at Mikkelson Harbour, with the large Argentine flag painted on the side. The penguins like to use the hut as a windbreak for their nests.
Penguin colonies tend to be on top of hills and rocky points. This makes them a bit exposed to the wind and elements. One little mate is standing at the top of this hill, but most of the birds sit on their nests, keeping their eggs warm and dry. On such a blustery day, the nests are hardly visible.
It's easier to see the nests from a little closer. It looks like a cold job, this egg-sitting.

Each penguin has a distinct call that allows mates to find each other and chicks to find parents, but then you knew that because you all went out and watchd March of the Penguins, right?
This guy looks like he's looking out to sea to see where his buddies are.
The snow envelopes the little birds.

Individuals and groups walk through the colonies, finding their mates or pinching stones from other nests.
Standing along the water, these guys are hunkered down. You can tell from their lack of neck that it's cold.
These are penguin hydrofoils. In fact, when penguins swim they are unfathomably fast. Roger explained that they are incredibly hydrodynamic and easily outran our boats. When they swim, they jump out of the water. This photo shows two penguins jumping on the way back to shore. It was so dark, though, and so snowy, that the photo is very grainy.

This is a Gentoo colony. You can tell the Gentoos by their red beaks and the white on their, er, forehead. If that doesn't work, ask for a passport.
This guy waddled over.
Quite a cutie, isn't he?

What? You've never scratched your head with your foot before?
The snow was actually starting to accumulate on the penguins. Also, there's a whale bone visible between the penguins on the beach.
The Penguin Armada, storming the beach.

The next six pictures form a series. The little Gentoo was quite curious and came up to stuart for a closer look. The pictures were all taken with a 40 mm lens on a full-size chip, so it was quite close. After a few minutes of investigation, it turned and walked back to the beach to be with its buddies.



Although the penguins seem fine to continue preening in the snow, we think it might be time to bid a fond adieu. Soon after this shot, the Captain sounded the horn on the ship, signaling that conditions were too bad to stay out any longer and everyone had to come back.
We took this shot of Stuart to send to Canon. On the landing at Deception Island, the 10D stopped working mysteriously, and on Mikkelson, the 5D stopped working. We think it might be that the batteries were too cold, but we figured we'd send Canon a shot of us in the snow to beg them to fix/replace our broken cameras, since we took them to Antarctica. They can consider it product testing, right? (Never fear. The cameras righted themselves. All they needed was a reboot. Funny, we never had to reboot a film camera...)

The previous installment:
Mikkelson Harbour

The next installment:
Cierva Cove Pictures

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All materials © 2006 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler