It was a grey start to the morning. We could hardly see the beach and Salisbury Plains where, were were promised, were thousands of penguins as far as the eye could see.
Fortunately, the wind and the swell were favourable and we were able to land the zodiacs with little dfficulty. All along the beach were groups of penguins, it was only when walking across the green plains behind that it became apparent just how many.
While most of us thought the numbers were amazing, people who had visited here before thought that numbers were as much as 60% down.
"It's not mud' kept ringing in my ears as I trudged across the plain and climbed a small rise for a better view. John Ronstead was referring to the vast quanties of penguin guano drifting towards the ocean, but the wellington boots did their job as long as you kept them on!
One of our guests was bitten by a fur seal - he got a little close in his quest for a better shot.
Towards the end of our visit I took a walk along the beach. The clouds were building behind the towering peaks and the elephant seals remained unmoved, except for opening a bleary eye from time to time.