Valdes Peninsula

Oct 22-24

After a couple of days at sea: relaxing, reading, going to lectures, eating, and sampling some wine, we arrived at the Valdes Peninsula. The Peninsula has bays on the north and south side that are the winter homes of female Southern Right Whales. They have their calves here in early spring, fatten them up, and teach them the ways of the world before they take them south for the summer to eat lots of krill. The outer edge of the peninsula is the nesting site of Magellanic Penguins and Sea Lions. Orcas come to sample some tasty treats of young penguins and sea lions.

You may have seen the video of Orcas nearly coming out of the water as they slide up the beach to grab sea lions at the water’s edge. This is the place that the Orcas have learned that hunting technique.

We got out early and road a bus to the location where the small whale-watching boats dock. The winds were calm, the sun was out, and we had a great time watching mom & kid whales taking it easy in the bay. One of the moms decided to show off and breached 4 times not far from our boat. The whales got within 20 feet of our boat a few times for some close-up viewing.

Then it was off to see a Magellanic Penguin colony. On the way we saw lots of Guanacos (South American Camels), spotted a burrowing owl, and a Mara (large rodent that walks like an antelope) — as well as lots of sheep. Lunch was BBQ lamb, Malbec, and Flan. Then off to see the penguins. Magellanic Penguins nest in burrows. We saw plenty of eggs, but it was too early to see chicks. A hairy armadillo was spotted running around the colony looking for unprotected eggs.

Today we are working our way south to the Falklands. The weather is so nice we ate lunch outside on the deck. A few Southern Right Whales swam by this morning, one laying on its side waving a flipper to us as we passed.


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