The Emperors of Auster: Antarctica

Story and Photographs by Shane Ness

Perhaps the toughest creature on the planet and the only animal to breed during the Antarctic Winter, The Emperor Penguin is truly living on the edge.

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Emperor penguins keeping warm

I am off to visit Auster Rookery, which was discovered in August 1957 and named after an ANARE, Auster aircraft. Auster Rookery lies around 50km from the Australian, Mawson Station and it will take us over 2 hours, through a maze of giant ice bergs in our Hagglunds, over snow vehicle. On the way we see some weddel seals and a beautiful sunrise.

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Hagglunds and Antarctic Sunrise

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Weddel Seals and Hagglunds

We camp the night at Macey Island, in the Macey Hut “Rodgers Lodge” no idea who Rodger is? After setting up the hut and a coffee to warm up, we jump back in the Hagg and continue our journey a further 10 km to the rookery.

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Macey Hut and a Hagglunds

In the distance I see the colony, the distinctive black line amongst the white sea ice and blue ice bergs. Emperor Penguins huddle together to stay warm throughout the toughest of antarctic winters. They battle the “Katabatic Winds” which blow off the plateau and blizzards that reach 200km/h.

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The thin black line

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I wonder what is going on over there?

It was one of those, I had to pinch myself moments, sitting there on the sea ice, in amongst giant ice bergs, with this penguin just chilling watching us. I think he was as interested in us, as we were of him.

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So whats going on?

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Everyday i’m shuffling

In the huddle we could here the very faint chirp of emperor penguin chicks, we never saw one, they would be very protected from the cold by their fathers. This would mean that soon the females would return, and almost as soon as we thought that, in the distance we spotted two penguins making the journey back through the bergs. As they approached the huddle, all the penguins started squawking, you could feel the excitement in the males, then the females quickly disappeared into the huddle and vanished.

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The Return of the Mothers

The harshness of the Antarctic winter and the incredible toughness of these birds amazes me. They survive in this extreme environment with no food for up to 120 days. During this time the males will lose about 40%, of their body weight, around 12kgs.

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So what are you guys up to?

On the walk back to the Hagg I spot an egg, sitting there on the ice, frozen. I stark reminder of how tough it really is out here in the middle of the winter.

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Frozen Egg

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The sun sets and the moon rises

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane,

On our way to Kathmandu: Bangkok to Kathmandu.

After a year of planning and preparing we are actually flying to Nepal. As some of you are aware we have been raising awareness and some much needed funds for beyondblue. Beyondblue assist those suffering from anxiety and depression. After a close friend lost her uncle to depression we decided to do something. We all decided on climbing to Mt Everest Base Camp and to support beyondblue. We approached beyondblue and BeyondEverest project was born.

We landed safely in Kathmandu and surprising it was much easier to negotiate the infamous Tribhuvan International Airport than I anticipated. Once we were settled at the luxurious 5 star Raddisson Hotel we decided to sit and have a beer and some dinner at the Roof Top bar. A really nice way to finish off the long day.

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Checking out the Epic view from the roof top bar.

Daily Vlog:
Bangkok to Kathmandu.

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We are in Kathmandu!!!!

Mykombiandi, Kathmandu

Nepali Beer. The famous Gorkha.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi, If you have liked this post please feel free to share with your friends. You can follow my adventures by simply clicking on the “Follow” button. You can also find mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Have you been to Kathmandu? Do you have any suggestions of cool places to see and do?

Cheers

Shane

One Life, One Search.

 

#100happydays Day:20 – 22

Well it has been an incredible couple of days and we are on the verge of an EPIC couple of weeks. Here are the last couple of days #100happydays pics.

Songkran

Songkran Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok, mykombiandi

Queens Park Bangkok

Kathmandu Sunset

We make it to Kathmandu

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi, please feel free to share this post with your friends. You can follow mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or simple by clicking on the “Follow” button. Don’t forget to check out the BeyondEverest project Facebook page to keep up to date with the team and how we are going on our Trek. You can still donate and help us support beyondblue via our Every Day Hero supporters page. 

One Life, One Search.

Shane

Finding Peace on the Beach. Eceabat Turkey.

Eceabat Beach Turkey

Feeling the love in Turkey

After the somber experience at ANZAC cove we made our way to the easy-going Eceabat. Eceabat is this sleepy beach side town where you can look over to Asia. We all just sat around in a circle and reflected on our day and life in general. It was a perfect way to chill out and relax after the emotionally draining experience of Gallipoli. The beach was amazing and the beach bar sold cheap beer. I have become a big fan of beach bars. We sat around chatting drinking ice-cold beers and watching the sunset on this day that we will never forget.

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Everyone enjoying the beach

We pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves except for this small group of guys. They loved that we were having a great time and attempted to teach us their football teams song. So all the boys lined up in the water and started to jump around and singing this random song that we had no idea what we were saying, what language or how badly we were butchering it. The guys seemed to really love it and were so happy, or so we think. We couldn’t speak their language or them ours. But somehow that didn’t matter. It was just this mutual understanding between travellers. Music and song span languages and the passion that these guys had for that song was contagious.

Eceabat Beach Turkey

The boys enjoying the laid back vibe of Eceabat

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Having a ball on the beach

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to share with your friends. You can follow my adventures either on the mykombiandi Facebook page, on Instagram and now on YouTube, or simple by clicking on the “Follow Button” or even by email.

Cheers

Shane

One Life One Search.