At the end of a long day, at the start of what I know will be a crazy week, I was just getting out of the shower when a co-worker ran past shouting “Penguin! Penguin! Penguin at Hut Point!”
It took about two seconds for me to decide to put bedtime off, pull on my parka and run down to the point, hair still dripping wet from the shower.
(Sidenote: it was 23 degrees Fahrenheit and I wasn’t cold in the least… our parkas rock.)
There was no one else around, and as I came over the ridge that leads down to the sea ice, I saw it. A sweet little Adelie, apparently taking a nap on a piece of churned up ice.
I sat on the shore nearby and watched. And waited. And, okay, mentally shouted “Come on! Do something cute!”
As thrilled as I was to finally see a penguin down here, and to be one checkmark closer to seeing every penguin species in the wild (I’m up to five now), I was a little disappointed that all it did was lay there.
Maybe it’d had a long workday, too.
Then a helicopter flew overhead, off to one of the field camps. The sound got the Adelie’s attention and it hopped up on its feet and did this:
My favorite moment is at :38 … I call it “Now Where Are My Car Keys?” The crackling noise you can hear (especially from :34 on) is the sea ice. It’s easy to sit for hours on the rocky shore listening to the thinning, cracking, groaning ice make noises that range from a giant bowl of Rice Krispies to a squeaky door hinge.