Going to see Magellanic Penguin

Flickr photos from the album.

Magellanic Penguin

27 December, 1997

I arrived at harbor earlier, but there is no ship. Soon after, a car ferry came and drop many tourists and tracks off. Most of tourists have large baggages, so it may come from south city far from here.

Which ship should we take? It was found that we should take this ferry. Wasted space for cars, the ferry was headed to the island of penguin colony with some tourists who want to see penguins. There is a shop to get drinks and snacks, and TV set to pass the time on board. It is similar to the Tokyo Bay ferry. It is nothing unusual to say until we get to the island.

Approaching the island, we're gathering near the exit. Suddenly, I found something streamline object jump on the water... It was penguins.

Little excited, Oh that's penguins! I told it to children nearby, but they just nodded calmly. It's only myself excited. When the ferry arrived the island, everyone seem to be excited to see penguins as well as I was.

On the island, there are a lot of penguins, but tourists are only able to walk around a beach. There is a rope stretched at 10m from the beach, and tourists couldn't go inside.

The penguins here are named Magellanic Penguins. The length is about 80cm. They made the nest by digging a hole at intervals of 3-4m inside the rope, and raising children. They have to go to sea for taking food, so the penguins are going out of rope, and coming back from sea. Since it's a craggy stones rather then sand on the beach, for shot-legged penguin it's difficult to walk. It's very cute while they waddling and sometimes falling down. They try to go out of the rope when human is not nearby.

If human approaches them, they ran away at a frightening pace. They are not too afraid of human, It is OK if they can keep some distance. They're staring at human rather curious. Some tourist seriously try to take a picture, but if they close to penguins, they ran away.

Penguins are vigilant out of rope, but they seem to understand that human don't come inside the rope, they are relaxed in the rope even it is just inside the rope. Some penguins made their nest just inside the rope, and the nests are observed in humans from nearby. Is it convenient to go to sea?

It was good penguin tour that I coulnd see overwhelming number of penguins and their nests.

I applied to Isla Magdalena Penguin colony tour on the previous day at a travel agency in the town of Punta Arenas. It was US$30. Tour starts 3:00 PM in the afternoon, and late afternoon when we get to the island. It may be related a time of activities of the penguins. It is not a problem because at this season it is so bright until about 11 PM.