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Lucy lives at Waterboat Point which is where the Chilean Air Force Base is situated. as luck would have it, she wasn't out fishing when we arrived so I took heaps of photos of her, managing to get a few in which her eyes were open.
This photo is definitely not one to be entered into a nature competition, due to my processing. (I've already posted a photo of Lucy that could serve that purpose.)
I've copied some information from the One Ocean Expedition notes we received in order to pass on information about Lucy and her kind.
The lovely “Lucy” the leucistic penguin is a rare bird. A recessive gene causes leucistic penguins to have reduced pigmentation, producing
lighter brown feathers instead of black. These penguins still have an orange beak and a white crescent on their heads. Albino penguins, in contrast, lack any pigmentation; they are entirely white with a pale pink bill and eyes. Their unique coloration does not alter their mating behaviours: leucistic penguins may produce fertile offspring with their black-and-white counterparts. There are only a few sites in the Peninsula where leucistic penguins have been sighted.
Whilst at the Chilean Air Force Base, I took my turn to climb up the narrow stairway to view the surroundings. I should imagine that this is quite handy during the winter months.
One of the staff members told me that they are only based there for 4 months at a time. The staff made us most welcome and, for a change, I had my photograph taken with one of the staff personnel so I didn't spoil the photographer's moment by snapping a shot of him!
Pisco Sour was on offer here, but I missed that as I was too busy snapping elsewhere. For those like me who hadn't heard about Pisco, then it's a South American drink made with different recipes. Apparently they add eggs to it in Brazil. For my part, I'll stick to the Pisco Sour, made with lemon. There are a number of recipes on the internet and Pisco is now available for purchase in Australia. On this occasion, the staff offered the ready made Pisco Sour. (Someone showed me their photos!) That would've been a good choice seeing lemon trees don't grow in Antarctica!
In the distance, you can see the "Akademik Ioffe" at anchor. The trusty Russian vessel is a far cry from the cruise ship I posted yesterday, and more to my taste, given that it has spacious areas for passengers and crew to move about.
Behind the visiting passengers, note the numerous penguins. Whilst there are cement pathways, the penguins often loiter on them so one has to wait their turn as penguins always have right of way in Antarctica. As I've said before, that's because of the harshness of their environment and humans are asked to not add to their difficulties as the penguins go to fish and return to their nests. If the penguins use up excessive energy, due to thoughtless humans, then they have to fish more to replenish their stocks.
Another 4 photos from our time visiting the Chilean Air Force Base at Waterboat Point in Antarctica.
This was the only day when extra care had to be taken when venturing out in the zodiacs. That was due to the prevailing winds and swell.
Unlike our small ship on which everyone enjoyed quality time on shore twice a day, I'm betting that not everyone on this cruise ship would've been afforded the same luxury. Theirs would've been luxury with a difference. Luxury that I certainly wasn't looking for whilst in the midst of an Antarctic adventure.
For a start, there doesn't appear to be a lot of room for a large number of passengers on the foredeck. As for the stern... However, each to their own...
Tonight's photos were taken just before we landed at the Chilean Air Force Base in Antarctica. It is here where we had our passports stamped to validate our visit to the continent.
Prior to our departure for land, there had been some concern that we might not be able to disembark, due to the wind and wave factors. However, it had settled down a lot more before we returned to the "Akademik Ioffe". The volunteer crew were amazing when it came to negotiating this stretch of water in the rubber duckies.
One of two Antarctic ice breakers operated by the United States Antarctic Program. Frequently journeys back and forth across the Drake Passage from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Western Antarctic Peninsula.