Popper’s penguins!

This is my first post since April when I reviewed what I had been doing in Lockdown. The summer has been busy and I have been laying down memories which I hope will stay with me for the rest of my life. That means I haven’t been writing my blog, but I have been thinking about it. Today I heard some sad news about a man who lives in the Falkland Islands. He had a terrible accident and is now having medical treatment overseas, I hope he will soon return to the islands in a fit an healthy state to enjoy his family and his beautiful homeland.

It is four years since John and I travelled to the Falkland Islands. I cannot believe how quickly that time has passed. In March 2017 I went to visit a Kind Penguin colony and it was breathtaking. I have tried to capture some of that day below. I loved the film Mr Popper’s Penguins but nothing beats seeing penguins in their natural habitat.

A Day trip to Volunteer Point

I hold my breath as we drive vertically upwards to reach the top of a ridge, and when the bonnet turns downwards my breathe is taken away by the landscape and the sky. Cerulean blue with occasional light grey wispy clouds meets a rocky vista. The rocks make me wonder about the surface of the moon. Rock falls and barren lands; agriculture’s not possible here but imaginations are fed instead! 

My nostrils twitch as a pungent smell knocks me back. The squawking and the pipping of the Kings and their chicks from the crèche is like a thousand creaky doors opening at once with the occasional doorbell.  This is the sound of the King Penguins at Volunteer Point. 

Turning and walking towards the Southern Ocean, it is only a short walk down the sand dune to the beach abutting icy royal blue waters. I find a hardened lump of sand and plonk myself down to relax. Totally ignored by wildlife, I watch as King Penguins wait in a mostly orderly line. One by one, they waddle across the sand leaving a trail others follow. A further waddle and they disappear into the water with a ‘whoosh’, then they’re off swimming, jumping, nudging each other. The swimming practice for penguins ends with a leap out of the water onto the sand. A few of them land on their flippers, others land on their tummy, they all land at the back of the line which they re-join the wait for another go.  I guess it takes practice to prepare for a life of fishing and living in one of the most remote locations in the world.

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