Day 15–Gold Harbour

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We pulled into Gold Harbour bright an early and they woke us up 2 hours earlier than expected as the weather was good.

When buying gear for this trip I had resisted cheaping out and we’d bought expensive waterproof pants and jackets and today they where worth every cent.

I was the first onto my zodiac and I’m standing on the bottom of the gangway waiting for the zodiac and the boat to line up and jump on. The swell had other ideas. The boat started rolling really badly and I went from being on the step 1 metre above the zodiac to water up to the top of my thighs in a split second.

The sailor next to me had a good grip on one arm and I was hanging one to the chain with the other. I’m starting to wonder what happens when I go fully under.

The sailor asks if I want to go back and is worried my boots and me are now drenched after going so far under but I am perfectly dry.

They tried to steady for what seemed forever and I thought they’d just give up but eventually a split second opened up and I was on.

The crew managed to find the one gap between the massive herd of elephant seals to land us on the beach.

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It was snowing and there were a new bunch of penguins that we hadn’t seen so of course 80 people wanted to photograph them.

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They were quite funny running around with tuffs of grass for nests.

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They quite enjoyed stealing smooth rocks from one another.

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We gave up and went further over to the big colony of King Penguins.

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I found a nice little vantage point with a good outlook and a safe distance from the animals and had a sit just to admire them.

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The penguins don’t know the distance rules and soon the babies got curious and I was surrounded by about a dozen chicks and 2 adults all checking out this strange new animal.

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I sat still and they came right up and around and I was pretty much trapped. If I got up they would scatter so I just sat there for about 15 minutes and enjoyed the close encounter.

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My moment was over when someone else decided they wanted to be where I was and scared them off.

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John was a bit further along the beach with the colony taking some video of the penguins.

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Andy was out with both Go Pros getting some footage too.

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My fingers got cold again so I headed for the return zodiacs. We loaded on quickly but the swell on the way back was brutal and we were covered in waves – another big tick for my gear.

We had an uneventful dock with the boat and I headed straight for the hot shower. I was cold by under by outer shell I was perfectly dry.