Penguins in the Falklands

The crew leads an expedition to the King penguin sanctuary and gets a special breakfast from a friend.

December 8, 2015

When we left Alaska to sail to Australia with our toddler for crew, we thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. But then we had our second child, and bought our second boat, and sailed across the Pacific a second time. We’ve been living aboard for seven years now. Sometimes we wonder how long we’ll keep at it, but all we know for sure is that the end doesn’t seem to be in sight just yet. Click here to read more from the Twice in a Lifetime blog.

We had to get going sooner than we liked – the summer days in the Falklands are long, but only so long.
We arrived back at the boat just at sunset, with a distinct feeling of accomplishment for all. Eric got the “You Are Special” plate at dinner to recognize his outstanding effort.
Being a tourist: paying a hefty entrance fee to visit a king penguin colony. Being a traveler: having a local friend give you two gentoo penguin eggs (hard-boiled) for breakfast a couple days later.
Our friend warned us that the whites would stay translucent after the eggs had been boiled.
They tasted great – thanks to our “local friend”!
From what I gather, collecting penguin eggs is a long-standing part of life in the Falklands, just like collecting seabird eggs is a long-standing part of life in out-of-the-way northern locales. We felt lucky to be able to experience that bit of traditional Falklands life.
I’ll end the suspense. Both boys did an incredible job. No whining, no asking to be carried (by Eric). They spent most of the walk split up, one kid next to one parent, each kid yammering on a mile a minute about imaginary planets and what their (imaginary) lives in Alaska would be like. Eric was skipping at the very end of the walk.
And, wouldn’t you know it. I walked all the way there and forgot my long lens! I came up with some ok pics all the same.
Kings on the beach. One of several species of penguins in the area.
A pair of Gentoo penguins.
A Magellanic penguin.
Boy and penguins.
Boy and smile and penguins.
The place is quite the tourist attraction, and gets regular visits from groups large and small. We were lucky enough to be there with just one photographer.
The penguins were doing their “we’re not frightened of people” act.
The trumpeting sound of the kings was magical. As was the whole scene, really.
King penguins have this cool life history that results in breeding attempts at different stages in the process being present in the colony at one time.
I had a distinct impression of king penguins as nothing more than evolved devices for delivering marine lipids to shore

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