On Christmas Eve 2005, Jackie and I spent the whole day cruising up and down Macquarie Island. The weather
was so fierce we were not able to land. Macquarie Island has gale force or stronger winds over 25% of the year
and no harbors for landing. Fortunately, the weather improved as we approached the sheltered east side of the
island and we landed this time!
There are 1,500,000 King Penguins on Macquarie Island. A few of them were there to greet us when we landed
at Sandy Beach.
There was a nice shallow rocky spot Sandy Beach where the King Penguins could swim and bathe without
worrying about the Orcas which were swimming further out waiting for a seal pup or penguin lunch. It was
fascinating to watch the King Penguins play and even paddle on their backs.
It was amusing to see
the molting King
Penguins. This process
takes a couple weeks,
and during that time the
King Penguins can not
go into the water to feed.
Below, twp King
What is most unique about Macquarie Island are the 500,000 Royal Penguins who reside their. The Royal Penguins
at Macquarie are unique to this island.
The Royal Penguin (below left) found a piece of bone or a stick with which to impress his mate.
There are an astonishing number of elephant seals at Macquarie Island. This sign is at the isthmus where a
research station is maintained for about 12 people year round by the Australian government which owns the island.
The erection of this sign is amusing in that the island gets only six or seven visits a year. Our visit in November was
their first since April.
Elephant seal pups. Four or
five weeks old.