A few miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are the last scraps of land standing between Antarctica and the notorious waters of the Drake Passage. Marginally warmer than the Antarctic mainland, these wind-swept islands provide just enough shelter for Gentoo and chinstrap penguins to come ashore to breed. In the summer months (November to February), large, noisy (and smelly!) colonies form, patrolled by skuas on the hunt for an easy meal. There are several places where it is safe to land and stroll past birds which have little fear of man. It is a real delight to sit and watch these endearing birds go about their daily lives.