Today we woke up early to be out the hostel by 6:00 and had a quick shower before heading out to the tourist centre to get on the penguin tour. We were on the boat by 8:00 and headed out.
We had a quick brief about how the tour was going to happen but halfway through we were interrupted by some of the crew members calling for everyone to look as there were whales. It was a large female and her calf and we saw a few flashes of the fins before going back inside the boat. It was such a great experience to see something so unusual, as they were swimming quite shallow, so close to the end of our trip.
The guide finished the talk and we settled into the rest of the 45 minute journey to Mangella Island. Once there we were given an hour to walk around, admire the penguins and take pictures. The penguins are raising their chicks at the moment so there were lots of little fluffy chicks and busy parents. Including Happy Feet!
We got back in the boat and warmed up while cruising towards Sea Lion Island. The Sea Lions were abundant. They varied in size as they too were raising their young. There were some very sweet fluffy ones as well as Mamouth adult males fighting. We continued back and arrived safely back to shore by 12;00, although Tilda did get enormously splashed by the sea spray while outside admiring the ocean.
Back at the hostel we all had a snooze and a relax after such a early morning. The participants were in dinner duty and after a bit of a situation with the shopping we sat down to a lovely last meal in Punta Arenas. We shared some drinks and played some games before heading out to the beach where the city had gathered for the New Year. Although there was no count down and it was all a bit different there was lots of whooping and smiles as we made the into 2018 HAPPY NEW YEAR! The firework display on the beach was great and after that Tilda hurtled into the freezing sea for a midnight swim. It was a cold walk back for hot chocolate and star gazing. And then bed before an early riser to catch the flight on New Years Day.