Day 14--Point Lookout, Elephant Island

We pass snow-covered Elephant Island on the way to our Point Lookout landing.  Elephant Island lies just below 60 degrees south.  Per an old sailor's adage: Below 50 degrees south there is no law. Below 60 degrees south there is no God.  
We shall see... Point LookoutPoint LookoutElephant Island from the ship
The area is alive with different kinds of penguins. These chinstraps show how hard they work to walk all over their land bases.   Point LookoutPoint LookoutNesting Chinstraps, jumping down the the craggy rocks at Point Look Out
It's amazing to see how high up the mountains they climb to find the 'perfect" nesting spot. Point LookoutPoint LookoutEven small colonies consist of many birds. The whole hillside is covered at Point Lookout
Some chinstrap pairs seem to snuggle... Point LookoutPoint LookoutChinstraps in mating ritual, Elephant Island, Point Lookout
This one poses for a real close-up.
Point LookoutPoint LookoutA chinstrap poses for a closeup on the rocks at Point Look Out
I loved the way the different penguins feet are so unique.  These chinstrap tootsies are digging into the ice as the bird perches on a very uneven patch. Point LookoutPoint LookoutA Chinstrap perches on the ice at Lookout Point. Their feet and long nails allow them to hop gracefully over the ice and rocks.
Macaroni penguins join the penguin party... Point LookoutPoint LookoutA Macaroni Penguin finds its way to Point Lookout
Along with Gentoos feeding their chicks... Point LookoutPoint LookoutGentoos feed chicks by regurgitating food it ate at sea. The chick often puts its whole much inside the mother's so no food is lost.
And a lone Adelie penguin clambers over the rocks.
Point LookoutPoint LookoutA rare few Adelie penguins made it to Elephant Island.
The rights for nesting spots can become quite heated. Point LookoutPoint LookoutNesting Chinstraps, Nesting Gentoos, Adelie, fur seals and elephant seals all reside on the slopes of the craggy rocks at Point Lookout The males build the nests and the females critique them before deciding if they will lay their egg there. Penguins often steal rocks from each other's nests. Guess some rocks are more desirable than others.
We find one chinstrap repositioning on her nest.  We get a glimpse of her two eggs.  She will be a busy mother. The rocks can't make a very comfortable nest, but the eggs stay dry and protected here.  
Point LookoutPoint LookoutChinstrap protecting the egg at Point Lookout
We watch as one chinstrap baby stretches its wings--already beginning to build its swimming muscles.
Meanwhile, the geologists trek the site searching for special amphibolite schists--we just enjoy the scenery. Point LookoutPoint LookoutGeologists investigating a craggy outcropping, Point Lookout on Elephant Island, Antarctica
Some rocks even catch my eye... story the molten granite making these folds could tell. Point LookoutPoint LookoutRock showing flowing rock layers at Point Lookout Leaving Elephant Island, a pink sunset glow hits the tops of the distant mountains.  Peaceful. Sun sets over Elephant IslandSun sets over Elephant IslandSunset over Elephant Island
Tomorrow we head to King George Island in the South Sandwich Islands before finally making landfall on Antarctica.


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