I FINALLY saw some penguins at McMurdo!
First, some background. Hut Point is a steep hill on the outskirts of McMurdo, about a 10 minute hike from the main building. The hill itself stands above McMurdo Sound, which is largely covered with ice (though the icebreaker ship is making its way in and will probably be here in a few days) with some open water right at the base of the hill, though the hill is too steep to get close to the water.
As I wrote earlier, there was a rumor that penguins were sighted near Hut Point. A group of us went out after lunch and didn't see any penguins, but someone out there said he'd seen the penguins that morning, so we concluded that maybe they came around to feed in the morning.
This morning, I got up at 8AM and walked out to Hut Point, but again didn't see any penguins.
We're (ideally) leaving for the South Pole tomorrow, so after supper a group of us walked out to Hut Point for one last attempt to see penguins. There were already a few people out there, and they said that there was a penguin swimming in the water at the bottom of the hill and a larger group maybe a quarter mile away. Within a minute, the nearby penguin popped out of the water onto the ice, and in a few more minutes the group started moving toward us.
After about 10 minutes, they made it down to the water near us and, after a bit of shuffling around, they all jumped into the water and were swimming around for quite a while.
I got quite a bit of video, but since I forgot my camera cable, I can't upload it for a few days, and depending on the size I MAY not be able to upload it until I get back from the Pole (because there's only a limited Internet connection being shared by everyone down there)