15112011 The River Trip
After a somewhat hectic night entertaining our guests we
are up and loading our rucksacks with cameras, binoculars and
his Go-pro and camera boom hoping to get some good
Thomas with his
The RIB with its other passengers comes alongside to pick
us up and we head out. Its not long before the first of the Commerson’s Dolphin
swimming alongside and just as your about to snap they
shot under the boat and out the otherside!
At the mouth of the river is a large colony of Penguins
waddling up the beach from the surf and in amongst them Tern and
We then turn back in the company of our dolphins and
start up-river our next stop the Cormorant colonies.
The sit in their nest built on large piles of guano ( A
nice word for Poooo) which has run down the side of the cliff in stalagmite
formations from under the nest and then proceeding to paint the rocks
and rock Cormorants
There are two separate colonies, one of Red Legged
(grey), the other of rock (black) Cormorants and although some protest as the
RIB runs up the cliff face,
most just sit and pose for our cameras.
Cormorants done, we move to a small island of the
opposite shore. This is covered in Sea Lions some playing in the water while
others sunbath and sleep on the rock.
homas’s camera becomes a plaything when he poles it into
the water and he gets some really good shots.
On the next rock to it is a Tern colony where they shriek
in protest at our arrival and take to the wing threatening to dive bomb us, as
is their want,
to send us packing. Fully snapped we move to and run up
onto the beach a large island the home of thousands of Magalanic Penguins and
Gulls and Oyster Catchers waiting to steal their eggs
should they leave them unattended.
Landing ashore we approach them carefully and if you sit
still, curiosity gets the better of them and they will waddle up for a closer
inspection of we aliens.
They are very photogenic as those not on the beach lie or
sit in their nest, mere scrapings under the nearby bushes.
All this under the watchful eyes of the Gulls waiting
their chance to grab an egg. Aggressively patrolling the
Brown Skuas attack feeding Gulls forcing them to throw up
their recently swallowed catch for them to feed on.
Two penguins making
Javier preparing Mate
Javier sends the cooler box ashore and having produced
the biscuits starts to make his “Matte” a herbal tea made from a local
It’s quite an art mixing cold water first then nearly
boiled hot water and steeping the whole thing. It tastes like a sharp green tea
and I am assured it’s a very heathy brew.
The finale is a trip through a flooded canyon between the
islands, the home of a Black Crowned
Night Heron which we spot sitting in a cave high up in the cliff face
alongside its nest.
The Javier who has been our tour guide drops of its
passenger before delivering us back to the Yacht and joining us along with Jorge
from the workboat to which we tied.
Just before seven Marcos arrives to pick us up. We are to
deliver a presentation of “Dawnbreaker’s” travels to his students at his
The old adage “never work with children and animals”
should be extended to include computers.
Attempts to show the video of the “Arctic” at the
beginning of this odyssey grind to a halt just as it reached the “Anchordram”
scene, I wonder why, divine intervention?
Thomas who has drawn the short straw, (my Spanish was
definitely not up to the task) manfully rescues the day with our route from the
Blog interspersed with carefully selected “Stills”
The evening was a success and Marco very kindly invites
us to stay for dinner.
A spread of freshly made “Empanada” a sort of Spanish
pasty, with different fillings, this was complimented with a generous flow
and then full up after ice-cream and coffee we are
beginning to feels like penguins ourselves as we waddle our way down to Marco’s
truck for a lift back.
Arrival and the trauma begins, its low tide, presenting
an gaping chasm to be leapt.
I don’t think so! Peter makes a valiant jump across the
gap with instructions to start up the dinghy and meet us on the
now we know what the Dunkirk evacuation must have felt
like. Never have so few been so happy to see such a small craft.
Bob the blog.