Emperor penguin trip at windy caboose
The penguins have been here breeding since before the first BAS Halley base in 1954 was set up. The sea ice is over 10 metres thick and the penguins have a walk of only a few kilometres to lay there single, solitary egg. They huddle together as one large group to keep warm in the dark winter months but as spring arrives and the chicks hatch they split into collective groups and huddle together on the sea ice near the cliffs.
a group photo with young feeding. Their plumage is magnificent and colourful. Hours roll swiftly by as you watch them, talk, move and feed.
With the advent of the warmer weather the penguins split from the group and explore or just move about because they can.
Chicks are often found wandering without their parents although their is often penguins following the chicks.
the chicks are now half the size of the parents and looking healthier and fitter as the days progress. There are no predators here apart from the cold.
just a small sea cliff to do a little bit of ice climbing
the group photo at the rumples
mark preparing to go into the crevasse getting some last minute tips from sune the GA. The crevasse is about 20 metres deep and reaches the sea below. The whole area is full of crevasses and is constantly breaking with the sea tide. All travel is roped together either by skidoo or walking and often falling into small unseen crevasses is part of the fun. Most crevasses are snow covered and so you are walking over snow bridges which collapse with the weight of the person on them.
Me in the crevasse. The only way out is by jummaring. The cold makes it difficult on the hands. The metal takes the heat out of the hands and rope work takes a lot longer than expected which makes the hands even colder. After reaching the surface again, warming the hands for the next 15 minutes is the main priority. Bringing the heat back into the fingers brings excruciating pain
the moisture from my breath causes a yeti effect.
A view of the rumples. Sleeping at -35 in tents with the cracking of the ice below the tents creates a very atmospheric affect. This cracking happens every 6 hours withe tide forcing pressure on the ice.