This Quark Expedition is sailing back north, heading toward the Drake Passage and Ushuaia, Argentina. This is our last landing for Antarctica. Tomorrow we will be reluctant tourists, leaving this unique, beautiful place.

But for now we will enjoy Half Moon, a 1.2 mile long island  between Livingston  and Greenwich Islands in the South Shetlands.

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beautiful lichen

The Argentine Camara station is located at one end

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Argentine Camara Station

and a Chinstrap penguin nesting area at the other.

Blue-eyed Shags nest on top of orange lichen pinnacles against glaciated mountains beyond. IMG_3040 (2)

Before landing, we bounced in the zodiacs over choppy waters, checking out seals, shags, and this very cheeky skua who landed right next to me.

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not sure if he wanted to be friends

On land, amongst the rocks, broken penguin shells led to a mother skua snuggling with her chick.

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A single Adele penguin approached me with a tilt of the head and a confused look in its eyes. “How do I get back home?” The poor thing was obviously lost, speaking in penguin before wandering off in search of a more appropriate friend. IMG_3104

An old whaling craft remains on the beach, another testament of history in this part of the world. IMG_5698

Half Moon Island is the breeding site of approximately 3,300 Chinstrap Penguins. Since this is our last landing, I spent time enjoying their antics and reflecting on all I’ve seen and learned.

I must admit to wiping a tear away, thinking about how much more there is to experience in this vast land.  This little penguin expressed my emotions back at me. IMG_3074

Before I left home, my friends asked strange questions . “WHY do you want to go there?” or “Where is that place….North or South pole?”

I hope my words and pictures have explained the wonders to be found here. More important, I hope I’ve inspired YOU to experience this adventure.

Good-bye from Antarctica.

This leaves a great big question—“Where shall I go next?” —trust me, I have a long list! Stay tuned. IMG_3068 (2)

 

 

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