Antarctica 2011 - One Last Penguin
The plan for the final day of the trip was to visit a Brazilian reseach base on King George Island, but the landing zone was blocked by ice. Elswhere on the island was a Polish base, and thanks to some sweet talking by a Polish member of the expedition team, they allowed us to land there.
Initially we were only allowed to walk in a restricted area, but the sight of living creatures other than penguins and seals must have melted their hearts and in the end they invited us in for afternoon tea! Offering a huge table of food - including fresh fruit - taken from their own rations to a boatload of strangers was an amazingly generous thing to do. It's not like they can go to the supermarket to get some more - Godspeed you awesome Polish scientists! (And as someone who loves John Carpenter's The Thing, being inside an Antarctic scientific base was just about the best thing ever!!!!!)
Outside, we got to see an amazing scene with some elephant seals involving a mother, a pup and an aggressive male (sorry, no photos due to heavy snow), a tonne more whale bones and an obese penguin.