Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Another Antarctic post

Some of you will remember that some years ago after my mother's death I spent significant amounts of my inheritance on going to Antarctica.  It was probably not the most prudent decision I have ever made but it was a dream come true, I loved it and I don't regret it for an instant. 

I have recently been asked by others who have found my blog more recently whether I would repost some photos.  Of course I will - with pleasure.

I spent my three weeks away with my jaw dislocated on a daily basis as I oohed and aaahed at the wonders in front of me.  There are regulations about how close you are allowed to come to the wild-life, but no-one told them that.  I had a baby seal gumming on my knee and penguins pecking at my boots.  I was appallingly sea-sick, and it didn't matter.

And I swam there twice, on the principle of never letting a chance go by.  All these memories are things are hug to myself on dark days and darker nights.

Enough rabbiting on - the photos can speak for themselves.  Some of them I know I have posted before but I think (hope) that they will stand the repetition.

Adelie Penguin

King Penguin in its first moult




Blissed out Elephant seal


Chin-strap Penguins






King Penguin rookery - with baby King Penguins to the front


Gentoo Penguin








Magellan Penguins





115 comments:

  1. My jaw is dislocated! WOW! Three weeks!?!? What an adventure! Part of the charm of the Galapagos is that the animals don't know fear of humans, and are quite accomodating. But not exactly friendly! i am going to add this to the list - and pack dramamine. Just "Wow!" Thank you for sharing these!

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    1. daisyfae: The skinny portion has been to the Galapagos and loved it. Sadly the climate would do me in. Do add Antarctica to the list - it was mind bogglingly beautiful, and an adventure each time I moved to a different vantage point.

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  2. Great shots, so much more fun than the ones my husband mainly brought back of installing instruments and bearded scientist and icebergs. He did have nature shots as well, but certainly not the variety of penguins.
    Enjoy the memories!

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    1. Arija: I suppose the difference is that I was there for fun - and had it by the truck load. The memories are something I hug very tightly to myself.

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  3. You know it was/is the right thing to do when your heart tells you so :)
    What beautiful memories of an experience most of us will never have.

    To be in the presence of those gorgeous penguins and seals! Unforgettable.
    And the ice - majestic!

    Thank you for sharing such stunning photos. Truly natural wonders.

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    1. Viki: It was certainly a heart over head decision but, as I said, I don't regret it for a moment. So much beauty. Every day.

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  4. "And I swam there twice, on the principle of never letting a chance go by. All these memories are things are hug to myself on dark days and darker nights."

    I understand you.

    thinking of you dear Sue xx

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  5. Amazing and so serene, my memories of my former lavender gardens often sustain me.

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    1. Linda Starr: It was serene. It was also a beauty I couldn't have imagined, despite poring over photographs before I went. A lavender garden? Joy and bliss - more information please.

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  6. Wow..what wonders you saw with your very own eyes.

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    1. mybabyjohn/Delores: And hug to my very own heart.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: The adventure of my lifetime I think.

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  8. Wow, these are wonderful EC! My two trips to Australia are memories that cheer me on cold winter nights.

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    1. Mia McPherson: And my memories of Antarctica are things to relieve me in our burning (too often literally) summers.

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  9. I didn't know about this trip and am simply in awe at those pictures. No wonder you can hug yourself with those wonderful memories, EC. And I too am amazed at the variety of penguins. What a remarkable adventure! Thank you so much for sharing these with me. :-)

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    1. DJan: And there are penguins that I wasn't able to see - the Emporer, the Marconi and a few more. It really was heaven on a stick.

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  10. Thanks for sharing again, and keep on sharing these regularly as they are truly worthy of being shown often. I try not to envy people, but this trip causes me major ENVY. If only I could do this once in my lifetime. It was worth every single dollar for the opportunity to go and experience something that few people do, and the memories are worth it too.

    Hopefully you are not having too much darkness or dark nights, and if you are then I am sending more healing light and love across the miles to light your days and nights. xxx

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    1. Kakka: Thank you. I had worried that I would bore people to sobs posting about my dreams. It was something I had not believed possible - and it probably wouldn't be now, so yes I am more than happy that I did it.

      Darkness is a part of my psyche I think - I just try hard not to let it take over.

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  11. I'm right in line with everyone who has commented, "Wow!" here. Thank you for reposting these; I wasn't one of your followers until recently, so never saw these the first time around. These are gorgeous photos and how lucky you were to be able to go to Antarctica. What was it that initially attracted you to this frozen place? The beauty is truly stunning.

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    1. One Minnesota Writer: I cannot remember not wanting to go to Antarctica so I am not sure what initially fueled the dream. Pristine beauty? Penguins? Whales? All of the above?

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  12. Wow! I had no idea!! Gave me chills looking at it, both of "knowing" that kind of cold and of how exciting it must've been to stand on that continent!!

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: While I don't really feel the cold it was surprsingly warm - probably because it is only open to tourists in summer. And yes, excitement doesn't begin to cover it...

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  13. Amazing photos.....I'm flabbergasted that you took these yourself! So glad, as I'm sure you were, the animals were not aware of the regulations! That middle seal face---gorgeous.

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    1. Molly: It would be harder not to take beautiful photos I think. Every time I turned around there was more to delight in. Animals, birds, scenery - all a joy.

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  14. I didn't know that about you! Totally cool. Life is full of prudent decisions and I for one am glad you went.
    Do you have a post that has more detail about your trip? I would love to read it.

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    1. Birdie: The first post can be found by searching under the title Memories. It would have been some time around March last year I first posted about it, and some Sunday selections have featured photos of Antarctica. I am also glad I went. Very glad.

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  15. This makes me long to go to Antarctica.

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    1. Anne: There was one person on the ship who didn't like it, but he had only come along to placate his wife and had not wanted to go in the first place. The rest of us, including the crew, loved it. If you get the chance - do it.

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  16. Stunning. Beautiful. Jaw dropping and I'm not even there. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Cindi Summerlin: It was all of those things and more.

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  17. It's still on my list! But until I fulfill that dream I have your generously shared memories.Thank you.

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    1. dinahmow: If it had polar bears and walruses it would have been perfect. As it was, it was very almost there.

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  18. Brilliant thanks. And that Elephant Seal has got life sorted. Probably lying there thinking "If I had any more blubber on me I think I'd actually be too hot." :)

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    1. Don QuiScottie: All of the seals, basking on the sand, looked not unlike our beach goers, blissed out in the sun. And it was summer, and probably as warm as it gets. The elephant seal didn't look as though he felt that he had anything to complain about.

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  19. Bonza photos. I don't know why but the photo of the Elephant Seal reminded me of a giant pancake with a happy face, even for me that sounds Bizarre!.

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    1. Windsmoke: I scanned back up to the elephant seal and yes, I could almost see what you meant. Much better than a pancake with a happy face though.

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  20. This has just been added to my own list of Gotta Do. What an amazing trip.

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    1. Susan Kane: If you get the chance, just do it. Beautiful beyond compare. Pristine (and one of the few places left which that applies to) and different every moment of every day.

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  21. I, too, had no idea. Good for you. Good for us, knowing you and having a peek. I needed to smile at something beautiful today; thank you.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: I am glad to hear that I haven't been rabbiting on and on about Antarctica as much as I had thought. And yes - it was truly beautiful.

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  22. Wow! Who cares if that was financially prudent...you talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Gorgeous photos. I love the seal one especially.

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    1. Riot Kitty: As I said, I don't regret it for a moment. The seals were very beautiful - even the leopard seal which I didn't get a good photo of. Goodness that seal had a mouth full of sharp teeth - it was cruising up and down the shore line hunting penguins when we spotted it. And luckily didn't catch its dinner while hypocrites like me were watching. (I know it happens, it is right, it is necessary - I just don't want to see it.)

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  23. All your photos are awesome and would never tire of seeing them again and again.
    What a wonderful dream come true.. your chance of a lifetime trip was and will forever be Priceless!

    Thanks for sharing your amazing journey.
    Be well and Happy :)

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    1. Pam:): Dream come true sums it up pretty well. Several dreams come true - I really hadn't thought it was possible.

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  24. Those seals are just too funny! The expressions!

    And the scenery is magnificent. No wonder you enjoyed your trip so much.

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    1. jenny_o" I would go back in a heart beat if finances and health would allow it. Probably even if just one of them would allow it...

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  25. These photos are just beautiful! I like the last one, does that tunnel go right through the iceberg?

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    1. River: I don't think it did go quite all the way through. People on the ship with kayaking experience were able to go quite close to them - but I don't think they ever went through one of the tunnels - and it probably wouldn't have been all that safe either. Beautiful though.

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  26. The elephant seal will make me happy every time I close my eyes. Although he also looks a little bit like a flounder. The moulting penguin reminds me of early Sonny Bono.

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    1. Murr Brewster: He is one blissed out beast isn't he. He made me smile as I took the photo and he makes me smile still. The moulting penguin on the other hand was such a mess. Something you would use to buff a car perhaps...

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  27. Beautiful. I hadn't seen them, but wouldn't have missed them for the world - any more than you would have. Thank you. (I shall probably slink in again later for another look.)

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    1. Dave King: It was just soooo beautiful, and I am glad that you liked them.

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  28. It looks quite fantastic and beautiful. thank you for sharing these wonderful photos.
    Are you feeling better? i hope so.

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    1. persiflage: It was both fantastic and beautiful. And awe-inspiring as well. My health is settling into summer awful mode, but I am more on top of myself. Not really feeling better, but functioning better which is a plus.

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  29. Photo number three wins the prize for me - what a lovely smile. I often cover up Milly the dog's ears and she looks exactly like a seal!

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    1. Kath Lockett: There is very little in this world as soft and tactile as a dogs ears. How lucky you are that she looks like a seal.

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  30. First of all, these photos. are. absolutely. breathtaking! They should be on the cover of National Geographic. Seriously.

    Sorry you weren't feeling well.. hope you're okay... And whatever it is you do with the money that you inherited is only up to you. As long as your dream came true, that's ALL that matters and I'm sure that's what your mother would have wanted. Hugs to you.

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    1. Deb: I think that National Geographic would think differently - but thank you so much. I love going back and trawling through my Antarctic experience and I am glad that you did too.

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  31. I would go for the memories every time, what a fantastic opportunity and I thank you for reposting these. Fantastic to be so close to these animals in their natural habitat. I love the smile on that elephant seal :)))

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    1. DeniseinVA: Memories to cherish was the right decision for me.

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  32. How I envy that elephant seal.

    Sharing something for you here today: http://johnwiswell.blogspot.com/2012/12/very-inspirational-award.html

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    1. John Wiswell: The elephant seal epitomises 'comfortable (and happy) in his own skin' doesn't he? I would also like to be just that happy more often. I have a busy day ahead, but will be over to your place this afternoon. Thank you.

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  33. I'm so glad you got to go. It was an awesome way to spend your money. The photos are breathtaking in their beauty.

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    1. Strayer: I am also very, very happy that I went - and the scenery was so sublime it would have been difficult not to take nice photos.

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  34. Wow, wow, wow, and again...wow. I have seen some before, but such a pleasure to see them again and more. Cor blimey, what a truly wonderful experince, and such a fine way to spend that money. Beautiful, and you are quite the photographer too, I can tell you x

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    1. All Consuming: Wow, wow and thrice wow it was. I don't think my mama would have approved - but tough. And thank you re the photography.

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  35. Mind-blowing. Wonderful beyond words. Thank you so very much for these.

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    1. Alexia: Your first two sentences summed up the experience.

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  36. Here I am, oooh-aaahing at your photos. They're beautiful. It makes me think of what we could stand to lose if we don't look after our planet.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: Yes, worry for the rest for the planet was emphasized for me when I saw how pristine this piece of it that we have not stomped all over is.

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  37. I'm so glad you got to do that! I think it was a wonderful use of inheritance money. The photos are breathtaking.

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    1. Lynn: It was wonderful - perhaps not practical, but wonderful.

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  38. So blue, so beautiful... And these baby King Penguins are cute :)))

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    1. Ken.G: The woolly little penguins were very cute. Apparently the first explorers in Antarctica thought they were a different species because of how different to their parents they look!

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  39. I will never get tired of your beautiful Antarctic photos. Amazing!

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  40. Oh Susie what a marvelous adventure it must have been. It can also serve as a reminder of how precious wild life is and how we should be more aware of what we are doing to it. Thank you for sharing :-)

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    1. farawayinthesunshine: It was beyond marvellous.

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  41. Oh my, Sue. I have seen professional photo shoots of Antartica, but nothing as glorius as this. You captured the hearts of the wildlife ... the blissful elephant seal, the molting penquins ... they are all something you could wrap your heart around. You are so blessed (and wise) to have had this experience. And, we are blessed that you are sharing it with us. Thank you so much ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: There were a pair of professional photographers on the ship with me, and wow, what they could make their cameras do. The scenery was amazing, and the wildlife simply enchanting. I will carry with me (in my heart because I didn't capture it) an image of penguins porpoising through the waves until I die.

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  42. Wow wow wow - what a fabulous adventure! I want to go there too!

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    1. ladyfi: It was indeed fabulous and, if you get the chance, just do it!

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  43. Your photos are incredible - such utter beauty! I can very well understand that you spent part of your inheritance on this trip, I probably would have done the same thing. Nothing to regret, that's for sure.
    I am a bit biased about traveling to Antarctica, though. I think this is kind of the last resort of our planet and I'd prefer if there were NO tourism in that area. I know, this is a very unpopular view, but I'm just afraid that eventually it will turn into the same dump as so many other beautiful places. It makes me so mad how people behave completely irresponsible in places that should be preserved - walking where they aren't allowed, throwing trash everywhere, totally disrespecting nature - I get mad while I write this, so I better stop here! :-)

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    1. Carola Bartz: You will get no arguments from me. I did some research before I went. The ship I went on had very strict rules. Boots were to be washed before we set foot on land - every time. Do not approach the birds or animals any closer than three metres - if they come to you well and good, but no petting. No food or drink to be taken ashore. Anything dropped to be picked up and brought back to the ship - and the crew checked that we had left nothing. 'Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints'. Which is probably still not enough but, selfishly, I am glad I went.

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  44. How lucky you are to have gone to Antarctica. There is soooo much life there and the photos were just beautiful. It's money well spent, I think.

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    1. Christine: It was an obacene amount of money and no, I don't begrudge any of it.

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  45. Terrific photos. This place is on my bucket list!

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    1. Karen: I have put it back on mine. I would love to go back - I don't think it is possible on a number of fronts, but I would love it just the same.

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  46. I'd not seen your pics previously so thank you so much EC for sharing them again. I oohed and aahed at them all ... the beautiful scenery, those icebergs and the wildlife. Our endocrinologist and his wife were there last year and I know they enjoyed the experience very much but then who wouldn't. I am sure you have never regretted one penny of the cost of such a fantastic experience. xx

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    1. Mimsie: I am glad that you enjoyed them. Such a beautiful place. Unbelievably beautiful.

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  47. If I could stand being cold I too would love to go. Thanks for sharing your amazing journey.

    note, thanks for your concern, I'm ok just sad my sister passed away.

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    1. Pam:): As I said - I am so sorry for your loss.

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  48. Thank you, be well and happy ~:)

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  49. I thought I had commented...but obviously I hadn't...sorry, EC.

    What an amazing visit that must have been...one you will never, ever forget. A stunningly beautiful, awesome part of the world. Thanks for sharing it with us...and thanks for sharing those wonderful photos. :)

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    1. Lee: Apologies not necessary. It was beautiful. Beyond beautiful, and yes, memories to hug forever.

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    2. One of my nephews worked down there for a number of years, EC....he worked at Casey,Davis, and spent a brief time at Mawson. He's a bit of a loner so it suited him well.

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    3. Lee: Lucky, lucky nephew. It is too late now, but I suspect I would have been v happy down there too.

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  50. These are stunning...I am glad you shared them again. The ice chunks are so pretty

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: It was all so pretty...

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  51. Thank you for your comment and kind thoughts, time heals an aching heart. I wish I knew your name Miss tenderhearted Elephant Child ~:)

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    1. Pam;): I hope that time is gentle to you and your heart.

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  52. Dear EC, I never knew there were so many different kinds of penguins in Antarctica. I guess I just thought "penguin" and that was one entity. So thank you for reposting all these wonderful photographs and labeling the different penguins.

    That trip sounds so wonderful despite your sea-sickness and the restrictions and the jaw dropping around every mound of ice and snow! I'd like to learn more about this trip. Anything you'd like to share that is. Peace.

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    1. Dee: The penguins are amazing aren't they? And I didn't even capture all of Antarctica's penguins. So many sorts - all with charm.
      It was wonderful, and none of the difficulties counted for anything in the scale of things.

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  53. 109 comments before mine! Wowzee, zowzee! Obviously, I need to go to Antarctica too.

    "I had...penguins pecking at my boots."

    This is an old penguin custom, and it means that you are supposed to give them your boots after which they will lead you to a sack of diamonds. You DID do that, did you not?

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    1. Snowbrush: Antarctica hit a chord didn't it? And yes, if you get the chance - go.
      I do not like diamonds, so do not regret that my ignorance led to me keeping my boots. If I had realised that the penguins wanted them OF COURSE I would have surrendered them. What animal loving, tree-hugging leftie could do any less...

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  54. I love all of the penguins, so many different shapes and colors and variations of black and white! And I esp. love the moulting birds... they looks so funny!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the wonderful post and photos!!

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    1. Nicky HW: All of the penguins are gorgeous aren't they? I have a weakness for the gentoo penguin though - while continuing to love them all. And yes, the moulting baby kings looked a complete hoot.

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  55. What wonderful pictures! Antartica is on my list of places I have to get to.

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    1. Laura Eno: Welcome. Antarctica was heaven on a stick. Consider me raving on... and go at the first opportunity you get.

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