‘Penguins, Penguins and More Penguins’ – Round Up

For many years Syd Cumbus has provided a brief review of the week’s meeting to the Lancaster Guardian for their increasingly irregular social scene column. We’re now very happy to be able to also present these round ups on the website.

Ruth Wood, a long standing member of the Society presented a lecture on her recent visit to the Antarctic entitled ‘Penguins, Penguins and more Penguins’.

The trip commenced in Ushaia in the far south of Argentina and Ruth started with a short tour of the town before the cruise which included the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands. Ruth explained how the January temperatures varied with Ushaia about 17 degrees C, South Georgia 5 degrees C and the Antarctic Peninsula zero degrees Celsius. The talk was well illustrated with with exceptional digital images of the bird populations of the area including the Patagonian Finch, the Wandering Albatross with a 10ft wingspan, the Giant Petrel and the Blue-eyed Shag.

Visits to the islands were made by Zodiacs from the cruise ship and included Carcass Islands and West Point Island where the party hiked across. On South Georgia a visit was made to Grysviken to view Shackleton’s grave and later to Stromness to see the former whaling station. On the islands the group viewed many Fur Seals and some Elephant Seals, but perhaps the highlight of the tour was to be able to view King Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, Adelie, Penguins, Macaroni Penguins and to be able to photograph them at close quarters.

On the Falkland Islands a visit to the capital, Stanley was arranged and here thee party had the opportunity to walk some of the local trails. The final call of the cruise was to Antarctic Peninsula where the group viewed Killer Whales. Later a trip in the Zodiacs around the many icebergs enabled Ruth to see the colours and sculpted patterns on the icebergs, created by the prevailing Antarctic winds and these were recorded in a series of stunning photographs.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Chris Thoume.