21 October, 1998

What a great day!! We all got to work early to help bleed 24 fish so that everyone would be able to go to Cape Bird by helicopter. The clouds were low this morning, so it was touch and go - but luckily we did get to go. Upon arrival we all noticed a distinct odor - it was the Adelie Penguin Rookery. We were able to walk fairly near the penguins being careful to not disturb them. These penguins spend spring and summer around the ice edge at various locations around Antarctica. Many of them were beginning to prepare nests by carrying small rocks around and stacking them in the "perfect" spot. They used their feet to move the rocks around into the correct shape ring. They were fascinating to watch....as I walked along three came running (waddling?) toward me, so I froze in place and kneeled down. They stopped too and just stared at me, then took a few steeps, and nonchalantly checked me out. I guess I was boring because they lost interest after a few minutes and walked away again. We were also fortunate enough to see a Weddell seal and pup, sleeping on the ice. Of course we were all taking pictures like crazy! We did bait and set a trap which we tossed in at the ice edge, but probably didn't have enough time for the trap to be successful.

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