Dawn broke over the remote Sea Lion Island: 350 miles east from South America, and 600 miles north of Antarctica. Carol, the new manager of the Lodge, was also a Yoga teacher and had offered a novel weekend break, combining exercise, meditation and wildlife! The chatter of hundreds of penguins could be heard just outside the windows, as sleepy visitors took position on their mats.
|Penguins mass outside Sea Lion Lodge|
|Early-morning sun streams into the yoga studio|
|Striated Caracara keeps a beady eye on visitors|
Strolling past the resident Gentoo penguins, and the returning Magellanic penguins (who were finding their burrows still flooded from the recent rains), we reached the mile-long beach where giants collide!
|How the elephant seal got his name!|
|The teeth may not be big, but they have 3 tonnes behind them!|
|He won't eat again for 6 months, so needs the weight.|
|Six-month beach vacation... but no food.|
|Tussac bird cleaning a seal's mouth|
|Scientists monitoring seals. Pup suckling in centre|
|Probably the richest milk in the world. Snowy Sheathbill waiting for scraps.|
|Recently-born pup with mother|
|Female elephant seal. A third the size of bulls.|
|Snipe in camouflaged habitat|
We sat down to watch them and again we could be about 6 feet (2 metres) from them without them being disturbed.
|Departure lounge, Sea Lion island|
|Temporary Dock Facility, centre, is still to be connected to land....|