Magellanic Penguins and Adventures on Magdalena Island | CruiseBe
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Magellanic Penguins and Adventures on Magdalena Island

xorolik • 7 minutes read • December 16th, 2016
Our ship stayed in the city of Punta Arenas from 6 am to 18 pm (at least it was supposed to stay there during this period of time).

Punta Arenas is the city on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Its name is translated from the Spanish language as "Sandy Point". 

We bought in advance a group tour to the penguin colony located in Otway Sound. We bought the tour on our ship, it cost $ 83 per person. However, when we arrived on the ship, we were told that the tour had been canceled because penguins had gone away and there was nothing to look at. They offered us money or another tour to other Magellanic penguins on Magdalena Island. This tour cost $ 160, but we agreed, because, in fact, we went there exactly with that purpose!
The ship docked in the port of Punta Arenas at 6 am, and at 15 minutes past 6 we were already sailing on tenders to the shore. Then we got in buses and were driving for 30 minutes to the port, where a ferry was waiting for us.
The tour was supposed to last for 4 hours: 1,5 hours to the island, 1 hour on the island, and 1,5 hours on the return. In fact, we were supposed to be exploring Punta Arenas already at 12 pm, and there was another group of tourist wishing to watch the penguins for 1 pm.

Here's Magdalena Island.
Isla Magdalena is located in the Strait of Magellan and is totally inhabited by the penguin rookery. This protected wildlife area was declared a National Park in August 1966, and in 1982, it was renamed as a natural monument. Its purpose is to protect its ornithologic fauna consisting of penguins, cormorants, gulls and other species. Here you can find one of the largest Chile's colonies of Speniscus Magellanicus - 60 thousand couples!

This is our ferry.
We are approaching the island.
Penguins are greeting us.
50 thousand birds come on Magdalena Island from September to March to breed. The rest of the year penguins spend in warmer climates.
Magellanic Penguins live about 20 years and breed with the same partner.
They live in the same holes.
This one is hiding.
It was very interesting to watch the penguins! They were absolutely not afraid of people, I really wanted to pet them, but it's forbidden.
Let's take some morning exercises!
Right flank, march!
Left flank, march!
Here are Jack and Jill! ))
Here's some family donnybrook.
"Do you respect me?"
Let's clean the feathers!
This lighthouse is situated on the highest point of the island.
Here's a view from above.
Here's a seagull.
Magellanic penguins are the most nervous creatures of all existing kinds of penguins! They are also called "jackass", because they pose, lift up their heads and start yelling at the sight of the danger, when they do not like something or when they want to attract a female.
Adults reach a height of 70-80 cm and a weight of 5-6 kg. Male and female sit on eggs one after another. Nestlings are usually born in December, and by February, they already become fully fledged.

This is a baby, it's still in floccus.
This one is almost adult!
Before they jump into the water, they stand for a long time waiting for someone to jump first, then everyone dives.
Here are more pictures of these nice creatures!
The wind on the island was just very very strong! We had to wear hoods (luckily we had them). Keep in mind, if you are going to visit this island, your caps won't help you, they will be simply blown away! You should put on warm jackets and shoes!

We watched penguins in their Penguins Kingdom and returned to the ferry in an hour. Then our adventure began: the ferry could not depart from the shore, as it was turned over by the waves and it ran aground! As a result, we had to sit and wait for the departure for 9! hours. It was good that at least it was warm inside, we were given hot tea and coffee and we were able to charge the phone. We were waiting for the high tide! There were 220 people on board, and all of them were form the cruise liner. We were calmed by the fact that the ship won't depart without us.

The second group, which was to come here after us, was not lucky, they did not see the penguins.

We sailed away only at 7 pm and boarded our cruise ship only at 9 pm. When we drove up to the tenders, cruise company representatives came in the bus and apologized for what had happened and said that they would return all the money for the tour and that we could have dinner in any a la carte restaurant with a bottle of wine absolutely for free. Yes, when we were getting on the ship from the tenders, one of the senior officers and several other people were standing and offering us to come aboard with apologies. I believe that Norwegian Cruise Line behaved very well in such a difficult situation.

Unfortunately, we did not see the city of Punta Arenas, but we saw the main thing in these places - Magellanic penguins. Moreover, for free!
Author: Xorolik
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova

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