Navigation and sighting on Pingüino Island

After unforgettable navigation, you reach an island of steep rocks where rockhopper penguins nest, a marine species of great beauty.

Pingüino Island, Argentine

From Puerto Deseado various bird sightings are made from navigation through the Argentine sea. Pingüino Island is visited by seasoned people who take care of the environment and from whom you learn a lot.

They told us that we should bundle up to enjoy the excursion and when we arrived at the meeting place the wind was intense. We prepare to sail with the cold on our faces and the jacket tightly closed; we had something hot that the organizers offered us.

Julián was our guide on the expedition and invited us to get on and sit in the small boat docked at the pier. The slogan was not to move from the seats until receiving a signal since the first part of the navigation would be hectic.

The ship headed for Bird Island and then south. Julián raised his voice to tell us about the different species that we would find on the beaches and rocks of the islands.

After sailing about eleven miles (25 kilometers), we faced Penguin Island, where we descended to tour. We closely observed several colonies of sea lions and elephant seals lying placidly on the beach while a large number of birds circled through the air looking for food.

As we descend we become aware of having reached a very particular place and we prepare to walk and climb together with our guide. The stones were uneven, so we watched carefully where we put our feet and little by little we warmed up.

As we walked among the nests, some closer than others, Julián told us about the life of rockhopper penguins: what their habitat is like, how they build their nests, how they take care of their young, and what time of year they come to the island that is a protected provincial reserve.

“Take advantage now that we are closer to appreciate the strong yellow plume that grows like eyebrows over the red eyes and the details of their plumage. They measure about 55 centimeters. They don’t seem too bothered by our presence and they seem tame, maybe because we don’t get too close or make sudden movements.”

Penguins are warlike when they perceive a threat and peck hard to ward off potential adversaries. They take their food directly from the sea and dive in search of small fish, octopuses, crustaceans, etc.

Scientists and ornithologists carry out their studies and checks on the rockhopper penguin on this island since access is possible through specialized guides. This strange species also has colonies on Isla de los Estados and the Malvinas Islands.

At the southern end of Pingüino Island, we find the old lighthouse that has been helping sailors with its light range since 1903. At first, it was fed with kerosene and today photovoltaic panels are used. At the base are the foundations of an old building that functioned as a fur and oil factory for sea lions.

The penguins gave us extraordinary sensations that made us forget the fresh air and the wind. We just wanted to keep walking and not lose sight of their movements. Someone handed us their binoculars to get a closer look at a family in their nest and we’re sorry we didn’t bring our own.

We got acquainted with the bird and mammal colonies as the tour was ending. That experience marked us and left an indelible memory, supported by countless photographs that we especially preserve today.