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Peale's dolphinsIn the afternoon of February 11, we shifted anchorage to North Harbour and proceeded to land on a high beach under the escort of blackchin (Peale's) dolphins. We had great fun watching them bow-riding the zodiaks as we came to shore.Hikers




Penguin beachOnce on shore we set off on a convoluted and meandering 4+ mile hike to see the sights of the northern region of the island. The hike took us through valleys, onto beaches, over rocky slopes, out onto a peninsula, past mixed colonies of penguins, albatrosses and shags, and to a windy overlook of a deep canyon. Canyon

Gentoo PenguinsThere was an extensive gentoo penguin colony located in a valley above a beautiful Caribbean-like beach. The penguins were trying to enter the water but a southern sea lion was patrolling offshore, hunting them. Everytime they tried to run into the surf, they turned back when they saw the sea lion poke up his head.

Dolphin GullsWe passed a flock of beautiful and rare dolphin gulls, resting on a rocky ledge. Their bright red beaks and legs distinguished them from other gulls. A Striated Caracara (aka Johnny Rook), swooped close overhead.Caracara






Seal stonesWe walked over an unusual hill, devoid of all vegetation and covered with small, smooth stones. We learned that these were used as ballast by seals hundred's of years ago in order to be able to dive down in the sea. They then pooped the stones out when they rested on the hill.

Penguin BonesAnother interesting spot was a pile of penguin bones. These were left by sealers who killed the penguins, skinned them and extracted the blubber for oil. Each penguin yielded about a pint of oil.

Albatross colonyWe hiked over to a cliffside colony of black-browed albatrosses, shags and rockhopper penguins. The adult albatrosses came flying in from sea to feed their waiting furry chicks. We watched in amazement as a line of rockhopper penguins came out of the water below, then hopped their way up the rocky cliff to their nests.



The immense spring tidal fluctuation added another 1/4 mile to our hike when we returned to the landing beach at extreme low tide and found the pickup site had been adjusted.Low Tide

SunsetThis was our last stop on the cruise and a great place to end it with the huge variety of wildlife we found. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset as we prepared for a final day at sea before reaching Ushuaia, Argentina where we had started 21 days ago.


For more photos of North Harbour, go to North Harbour Photo Gallery. To read about the next place we visited go to Ushuaia, Argentina Newsletter.


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