Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 3: Gentoo Cute
December 28 - Ruins of Almirante Brown Base, Paradise Bay, the Antarctic Peninsula

A new day! Woke up in Paradise Bay to just beautiful weather. After breakfast we suited up and hit the zodiacs, heading for Almirante Brown base, an Argentine research station abandoned in 1984. It seems that the doctor (we hear it's always the doctor) got a bit stir crazy during the long winter and in order to force his way back to civilization he set fire to the main building and several of the outbuildings, burning the base to the ground.

It's no coincidence that penguins and antarctic bases go hand in hand. The Gentoo, Adelie, and Chinstrap penguins all nest on rocks and can't nest on snow. The antarctic bases are usually on areas with little or no snow pack to help prevent them from getting buried over the years. Since less than 1% of Antarctica fits this criteria it's no wonder that a colony of Gentoo set up a rookery on the remains of the base.

The pictures speak for themselves here. It was still early enough in the season that there was a mix of eggs and very young hatchlings. Even so, these particular penguins started a bit later than they should have (likely because the snow hadn't melted from their breeding grounds until later than usual). Here's hoping for a late season to ensure the chicks mature in time! If today's weather is any indication, they'll have no problem.

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As we stayed to document the Gentoo, the rest of the group climbed the nearby mountain peak. One thing about snow climbing: Getting down is the easy part!

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Read the next chapter: Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier


Table of Contents:

Introduction: Telling the Story posted Jan 10, 2009

Day 0: Positioning posted Jan 12, 2009

Leaving, on a jet plane posted Jan 12, 2009

Day 1: The Herc posted Jan 15, 2009

Day 1: Penguino posted Jan 16, 2009

Day 2: Chicken posted Jan 17, 2009

Day 2: Leopard posted Jan 19, 2009

Day 2: Snow Day posted Jan 22, 2009

Day 2: Shipwreck posted Jan 26, 2009

Day 2: Totally Tabular posted Jan 27, 2009

» Day 3: Gentoo Cute posted Jan 29, 2009

Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier posted Feb 3, 2009

Day 3: Palmer Station Visit posted Feb 9, 2009

Day 4: Icy Penguins posted Feb 11, 2009

Day 4: Adelie Awesome posted Feb 15, 2009

Day 4: Leopard Seal Attack posted Feb 17, 2009

Day 4: Kayak posted Feb 19, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Station Visit posted Feb 23, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Sunset posted Feb 25, 2009

Day 5: Antarctic Circle posted Feb 27, 2009

Day 5: Polar Plunge posted Mar 5, 2009

Day 5: Mouth of The Gullet posted Mar 13, 2009

Day 5: Ice Camping posted Mar 18, 2009

Day 6: Flamingos on Ice posted Mar 20, 2009

Day 6: Mountain Climbing posted Mar 24, 2009

Day 6: Ice Textures posted Mar 26, 2009

Day 6: Antarctic New Years posted Apr 2, 2009

Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker posted Apr 9, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 1 posted Apr 17, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 2 posted Apr 21, 2009

Day 8: Bird Watching in the Fish Islands posted Apr 23, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 1 posted May 5, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 2 posted May 11, 2009

Day 9: Port Lockroy - Base A posted May 20, 2009

Bonus Chapter: Baby Penguins! posted May 21, 2009

Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales posted June 3, 2009

Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding posted June 11, 2009

Day 10: Birthday Whales posted June 23, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds posted July 15, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals posted July 22, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 1: Walking on the Moon posted Dec 11, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz posted Dec 15, 2009

Day 11: Emperor Penguins posted Jan 8, 2010

Day 12: Black and White and Pink All Over posted Aug 4, 2011

More chapters posted every few days...



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