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“Our mission was to be the first people to land at an emperor                At Halley Bay we were literally at the end of the earth. The sun was
colony near Halley Bay, one of seventy Emperor Penguin colonies that         bright and warm, and the icebergs towered over the sea ice on which
exist in the world.                                                          we were camped. It was simply beautiful, and the twenty-four hour
                                                                             daylight at that time of year provided a spectrum of lighting angles
One little known fact is that the Emperor Penguin is the only bird           that were terrific for photography. The penguins showed no concern
capable of breathing in the Antarctic winter air. When the region is         at being approached. I remember sitting outside our tent reading a
plunged into six months of darkness, the male Emperor Penguin is             book and a penguin came up and looked over my shoulder!
sitting on a single incubating egg. He doesn’t eat for four months, and
loses up to seven or eight ounces of fat a day. The Emperor Penguin          While walking back from where the penguins were diving for food,
also can hold its breath for eighteen minutes under water, and dive to       about five miles from our camp, I found a penguin egg (about eight
depths of over 2,000 feet. When they are hunting for food they dive 30       inches in size) frozen in the ice. I worked it loose and proudly took
or 40 times a day.”                                                          it back to camp. Peter was horrified and told me not to put it inside
                                                                             my tent as in time the egg would explode. So I kept it outside and
                                                                             sure enough it did explode—emitting an odor such as I have never

                                                                             “When people look at Bob’s photographs of penguins and say it’s a
                                                                             lovely shot, what they don’t know is that he may have been out in
                                                                             subzero temperatures waiting for hours for an unusual picture.

                                                                             Bob never, ever accepted no. It just wasn’t in his vocabulary. But
                                                                             he’s a team player and when something wasn’t possibly going to
                                                                             work, he would accept it. He was so full of ideas and very, very
                                                                             creative. It was because of that incredible confidence that he was such
                                                                             a great person to travel with. I’ve never told Bob this, but I was always
                                                                             very relaxed when I was traveling with him because I knew that if I
                                                                             couldn’t sort it out, Bob could.”

Home at Halley Bay

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