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Penguin Encounters - The Return - March 2015

It’s been six months since the team’s last visit to the Folly Farm penguins. In the middle of March, Pembrokeshire’s top attraction got in touch to ask if we would carry out another pool maintenance session, of course we were delighted to help.

On a late afternoon bathed in cold sunlight the team were met by staff members Wayne Sunter, a PDSTdivegroup member and Catrin Thomas, keeper to the Humboldt penguins. The sessions dive plan was quickly outlined and the team then kitted up.

The first thing we noticed was the number of penguins seemed to have increased. Catrin explained that six chicks have been successfully raised over the winter, increasing the colony to thirty in total. (It could also be called a Rookery or a Waddle). There may be safety in numbers but these guys were still very nervous of our intrusion, spending the entire time darting around the divers, giving a master class in underwater manoeuvring! Some of the days final visitors got a shock when they looked through the viewing panels, including one young man who really, really couldn’t believe his eyes! Perhaps he’ll join our group in twenty years or so.

The cleaning took about an hour and there was also some maintenance to be done on the observation panels, when completed a very happy group of divers left the birds to get back to normal. The following day the pool was once again in pristine condition.

The divegroup team were: Nigel Evans, Nick Hammond, Dai Humphreys, David Pring, Rik Saldanha, Wayne Sunter and Chris Williams.

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