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The Penguin Diaries - 1 of 36

Monday, 20 November 2000
"We arrived on the island..."

Hello from Cape Shirreff! 
Sorry for the delay in communication. We arrived on the island on the 16th and have spent the past few days getting installed in camp, getting our solar power running, and our satellite connection in. We're fully installed now and I must say, this is one of the more beautiful places I've ever been. We have a great little camp with 3 small huts connected by boardwalk. Our supplies from food to hardware to electronics are pretty impressive. In a lot of ways this is much more civilized of a place than I've lived in years. My 3 fellow Americans, Mike x2 and Ben are all great and it will be easy to live with them and be fully entertained for the next four months. Our Chilean neighbors also just arrived today, so the island's human population is now 7. We're surrounded by fur seal bulls who have set up their territories all along the shore as close as 50 ft from our camp. The females are starting to arrive and have their pups. The penguin colonies are on the other side of the island - about a 1.5km ski. The penguins are absolutely incredible. We went over to check on them and see how far they have come on their nests. A few have already started laying, but most are still pair bonding and building their nests. It's incredible walking through the chinstrap and gentoo colonies. I can't really describe the calls that they make - very musical and impressive. The chinstraps are pretty bold and they'll peck at your shins as you walk through to check on nests, and the skuas are ever present - hovering overhead, waiting for an unattended nest to steal from. I can't write much more due to space limits. Until then I hope all is well. I'll take lots of photos. This is truly an amazing place. Every day I'm astounded by everything I see.

Love, Iris