Visitors in the anchorage (Puerto Madryn)

Visitors at anchorage

Two years ago, I was travelling on HS Liszt in the winter of the South Atlantic Ocean. The ship was calling some Argentinian ports with the southern most point Puerto Deseado, ~ 1000 km North of Ushuaia, ‘el fin de mondo’. Although it was winter time, the weather was not very bad and, with temperatures of 14-15 degrees at midday, I could enjoy few hours outside every day. When the sun was shining up in the sky, the day was even brighter and happier for me and for some very funny creatures which enjoyed the sunny day even more.

The vessel was at anchorage, few miles outside the beautiful port of Madryn, Argentina, waiting for entering. Few hours after we dropped the anchor, I went for a walk on the deck, with my usual stop forward to admire the sea from my favourite panoramic view place.

The vessel was almost empty and a great part of the bulb was outside the water. At some point, I noticed some movement in the water beneath me and a funny and furry face popping out. It was a sea lion. Soon he was accompanied by few others, all looking very agitated and playful.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (1)

I didn’t know what to expect and I was really taken by surprise when I saw the first sea lion making a very difficult move, almost jumping on the bulb. The clean and dried spot was quite a treat, but not so easy to conquer. After few attempts of jumping and sliding back in the water – to my great amusement and to his companions’ content – he finally succeeded in climbing the bulb and installed himself as a real king. He took the command over the area and behaved like an angry master for a few minutes, chasing away any other competitor. He really enjoyed being alone on that desired spot and seemed very proud of his success. I am not sure if he was a ‘he’ or a ‘she’, but I am sure he was the leader of the gang and not very eager to let the others join in.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (2)

Finally, a second one made his successful jump and occupied his position, while the others continued to jump around the vessel. From time to time, one of them took his courage and started to make his attempts of climbing – some of them succeeded, the others not.One by one, six of them arrived on the bulb within two hours. They all looked very happy and pleased, except the first one which didn’t want to share the place with nobody and even shouted at the others from time to time.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (4)

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (3)

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (5)

In the waters around the vessel, few more sea lions were jumping and diving. They would have liked to join the others on the bulb, but the place was already too crowded. I watched them for a while, I left and came back after few hours. They were still there, in the same positions, enjoying the sunny afternoon and posing for my photos.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (6)

The next morning they were still there and they remained there until the anchor was heaved up in its place and the ship started to move towards the port.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (7)

The noise made by the engine must have startled them because they jumped into the water in despair and dived deep for a few minutes.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (8)

After that, I saw them again alongside the vessel, jumping and following us from a distance, but determined to catch up with us as soon as possible.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (9)

And they really did it. The mooring men had to scare them away in order to handle the ropes and help the vessel getting into position. The scenes were very funny as I watched them from the upper deck, but neither the mooring men, nor the sea lions looked happy with ‘the fight’ and they relaxed only when the job was over and everybody – men and animals – found what they were looking for. The men managed to put the ropes in the right place, on the right  bollards and the sea lions took over the command of the bulb, conquering it for the second time.  They took their places again, enjoying the wonderful environment and they remained on their positions for the whole day – while the vessel was loaded.

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (1)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (8)

The problems came up the following day when the bulb started to go lower and lower into the water as the ship was loaded and their clean and dried spot was no longer as dry as before. They were very disappointed for losing their ‘beach place’, but they continued to stay on the bulb until it completely got submerged. At that point, they left us and went away, in search of some other vessel with a clean and dry bulb or rudder to climb on.

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (10)

Sea lions on the bulb of hS Liszt (11)

I am happy I had the time to admire them also from the pier and take some amazing photos.

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (2)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (3)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (4)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (5)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (6)

Sea lions on the bulb of HS Liszt alongside (7)

PHOTO GALLERY

One Response to Visitors in the anchorage (Puerto Madryn)

  1. costica anonimul says:

    zehr schon

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