Our first port of call was New Island, one of the most remote of all the inhabited islands in the Falklands archipelago. We departed on the zodiacs early on a beautiful day with blue skies and mild temperatures. After landing on the beach, it was a short hike for about a mile to the other side of the island and the first of our Penguin encounters at a cliff-side colony of the charismatic Rock Hopper penguin.
Southern Rockhopper penguin - Photography by Kelly Burke
New Island is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Falklands archipelago, as well as having possibly the most diverse range of wildlife in the region. It is a nature reserve, established by Ian Strange in 1972.
Rockhopper Rookery 360˚ Panorama - Photography by Tony Redhead
Returning from New Island L'Austral raised anchor and sailed North East to Grave Cove on the west coast of the West Falkland Island. Fortunately the good weather stayed with us as we boarded the zodiacs for the ride to the nearby beach. Grave Cove named after several 19th-century whalers’ graves on the beach was our departure point for another hike to a wide beach and several rookeries. Sitting on the beach we could see Gentoo penguins diving in and out of the waves, come running up the beach and past us to the safety of their colonies. There were some who came quite close and gave us the once over like this young fellow.
Gentoo penguin on the beach at Grave Cove - photograph Kelly Burke
Gentoo Rookery 360˚ Panorama - Photography by Tony Redhead
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