Category: South Georgia

St Andrews Bay, South Georgia, 25 Jan 2008



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20080125 Friday Day 10 Grytviken (King Edward Point), At Andrews Bay, South Georgia, A visit to Shackleton's grave.

When we woke up in the morning, we were most happy to see the beautiful bright Sun. It was going to be a fine day. After breakfast, we gathered at the Forward Lounge to hear a presentation by the representative of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, he spoke about the work that they were doing to restore the old whaling station for tourist and continued to preserve the natural environment around here. Then we went onshore to first pay our respect to Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer who was buried on at a small graveyard at King Edward Point next to the whaling station. On the back of his tomb, a quote by Robert Browning - "I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize.". Our expedition members gather around Shackleton's grave and made a toast to him. We then visited the Church which was built during the active days of the whaling station and also a newly built museum which had a lot of interesting information on wildlife around this area and the life of the whalers who once occupied here. We got to touch a sample of the king penguin and feel its skin, it was very strong and thick on the outside with a tough inner layer that was hard and with lots of short spikes that can trap more air. As usual there were the usual king penguins and seals on the island and the mountains were covered with snow. We got back to the ship and the South Georgia representatives had set up a little "Post office" onboard for us. The boat then head off to St Andrews Bay.

After lunch we made a landing on St Andrew's Bay. Despite the bright and beautiful Sun, it still felt quite cold because of the strong wind. St Andrew's Bay had the largest colony of king penguin (over 110,000 pairs). Indeed they were everywhere, we took lots of pictures and videos. There were also quite a few elephant seals just laying around doing nothing!

At dinner we talked to a US lady who had worked in software programming for 26 years since 1964 and another US lady who also had worked in software since the 1960s.

We made another landing in the evening at a place called Gold Harbour, where we saw yet more penguins and seals and glaciers and ice float.

We watched a Japanese TV drama ("The variance of love") that we brought with us.

Grytviken, South Georgia, Antarctica, 25 Jan 2008



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20080125 Friday Day 10 Grytviken (King Edward Point), At Andrews Bay, South Georgia, A visit to Shackleton's grave.
When we woke up in the morning, we were most happy to see the beautiful bright Sun. It was going to be a fine day. After breakfast, we gathered at the Forward Lounge to hear a presentation by the representative of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, he spoke about the work that they were doing to restore the old whaling station for tourist and continued to preserve the natural environment around here. Then we went onshore to first pay our respect to Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer who was buried on at a small graveyard at King Edward Point next to the whaling station. On the back of his tomb, a quote by Robert Browning - "I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize.". Our expedition members gather around Shackleton's grave and made a toast to him. We then visited the Church which was built during the active days of the whaling station and also a newly built museum which had a lot of interesting information on wildlife around this area and the life of the whalers who once occupied here. We got to touch a sample of the king penguin and feel its skin, it was very strong and thick on the outside with a tough inner layer that was hard and with lots of short spikes that can trap more air. As usual there were the usual king penguins and seals on the island and the mountains were covered with snow. We got back to the ship and the South Georgia representatives had set up a little "Post office" onboard for us. The boat then head off to St Andrews Bay.

After lunch we made a landing on St Andrew's Bay. Despite the bright and beautiful Sun, it still felt quite cold because of the strong wind. St Andrew's Bay had the largest colony of king penguin (over 110,000 pairs). Indeed they were everywhere, we took lots of pictures and videos. There were also quite a few elephant seals just laying around doing nothing!

At dinner we talked to an old lady who had worked in software programming for 26 years since 1964 and another old lady who also had worked in software since the 1960s.

We made another landing in the evening at a place called Gold Harbour, where we saw yet more penguins and seals and glaciers and ice float.

We watched a Japanese TV drama ("The variance of love") that we brought with us.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia, Antarctica, 25 Jan 2008



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20080125 Friday Day 10 Grytviken (King Edward Point), At Andrews Bay, South Georgia, A visit to Shackleton's grave.

When we woke up in the morning, we were most happy to see the beautiful bright Sun. It was going to be a fine day. After breakfast, we gathered at the Forward Lounge to hear a presentation by the representative of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, he spoke about the work that they were doing to restore the old whaling station for tourist and continued to preserve the natural environment around here. Then we went onshore to first pay our respect to Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer who was buried on at a small graveyard at King Edward Point next to the whaling station. On the back of his tomb, a quote by Robert Browning - "I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize.". Our expedition members gather around Shackleton's grave and made a toast to him. We then visited the Church which was built during the active days of the whaling station and also a newly built museum which had a lot of interesting information on wildlife around this area and the life of the whalers who once occupied here. We got to touch a sample of the king penguin and feel its skin, it was very strong and thick on the outside with a tough inner layer that was hard and with lots of short spikes that can trap more air. As usual there were the usual king penguins and seals on the island and the mountains were covered with snow. We got back to the ship and the South Georgia representatives had set up a little "Post office" onboard for us. The boat then head off to St Andrews Bay.

After lunch we made a landing on St Andrew's Bay. Despite the bright and beautiful Sun, it still felt quite cold because of the strong wind. St Andrew's Bay had the largest colony of king penguin (over 110,000 pairs). Indeed they were everywhere, we took lots of pictures and videos. There were also quite a few elephant seals just laying around doing nothing!

At dinner we talked to an old lady who had worked in software programming for 26 years since 1964 and another old lady who also had worked in software since the 1960s.

We made another landing in the evening at a place called Gold Harbour, where we saw yet more penguins and seals and glaciers and ice float.

We watched a Japanese TV drama ("The variance of love") that we brought with us.

Fortuna Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica, 23 Jan 2008



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20080123 Wednesday Day 8 Still at South Georgia
3 degree in the morning. Our original plan was to make one landing in the morning but the sea and wind conditions were not favourable and we had to wait to see the weather condition would become friendlier at a later time. It did get better and we made a landing at Fortuna Bay and the weather was beautiful (much better than the day before), so the cameras were happily working in dry conditions and we took some video shots too. In summary, king penguins and fur seals were everywhere on this bay and we also saw elephant seals, and reindeer at a far distance. Often the fur seals are very curious and would come up and inspect us. Now because we were late on our schedule which did not leave enough time to do the final 5km of Shackleton trail from Fortuna Bay to Stromness whaling station, it was supposed to be one of the highlights of this trip, this showed we were in a region where we were very much at the mercy of nature.

After an early dinner, we were able to go onshore again, this time landing at Stromness Bay whaling station where Shackleton found safety after his 2-year failed journey to cross the South Pole during 1914-1916. The whaling station had ceased operation since the late 1960s and had not been made safe for tourist to visit. By the time we land, it was already getting dark, we made a short walk to see the waterfall where Shackleton climbed down, we had to be extra careful not to step on the baby fur seals which looked exactly like the bumpy mud in darkness.

We met a couple from US who had publised a book with photos taken from 50 countries!

Elsehul, South Georgia, Antarctica, 22 Jan 2008



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20080122 Tuesday Day 7 South Georgia - Right Whale Bay and Elsehul

Again weather was getting colder around 10 degree in the morning. We finally saw land during breakfast. It was raining in the morning. Finally after over 2 days at sea we got to land again. Since it was cold and raining. We put all our water-proof gear on to prepare for the landing. There were huge colonies of fur seals and king penguins on Right Whale Bay, absolutely everywhere. The seals population has both adults and pups and they were very cruious about us. At times, we were being chased by the seals and we couldn't quite tell whether it was an act of aggression or simply their ways of saying hello. Many of the penguins were molting and could look rather ugly. We were amazed by the sheer number of animals on this bay. There were some birds and we even saw a skeleton of a whale scattering on the bay, the vertibrate of the whale made a rather good small bench with flat surface on both ends. Occassionally we spotted some dead seals bodies and the birds were helping themselves to a nice meal. The fur seals also swam around our zodiacs, while they looked clumpsy on land, they were very good and smooth swimmers, they swam along the zodiacs in small groups and in harmonic motions. The rain and the wind made it very difficult to take pictures, my small camera had stopped working after too much water got into the case. Nonetheless we had some nice pictures and movies to remind us how beauitful this place was.

The afternoon session was a ride on the zodiac to see the coastal area called Elsehul where more king penguins, fur seals were found, also spotted some Gentoo penguins and elephant seals. The elephant seals just laid there doing nothing, looked rather lazy!!! But then what would you do if you have almost no predator and food is abandunt. Irene thought the ride would be too cold for her and she opted out. With the experience of the rain this morning, I decided not to take out the camera too often under this kind of weather and thus only took a few pictures, it was hard to take decent pictures against the distance, the wind, the rain, the rocking zodiac and fellow passengers cramped on the same boat.

During the briefing section, Roger the Expedition leader explained about the potential Sheckelton walk on South Georgia, the final march to his rescue in 1916. We might do the final 5km of his walk if weather permits, not an easy trail and Roger was trying to scare some people off just to make sure that only the really fit would join, because there was no turning back and the walk was difficult for some.

The dinner had a Russian Theme and the waitresses all dressed up to the occasion.
We watched a documentary on Antarctica by David Attenbourough produced for National Geographic, great summary of the wild-life in this region.

The Sony camera after much hair-dryer blowing finally sprung back to life.

Stromness, South Georgia, Antarctica, 23 Jan 2008



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20080123 Wednesday Day 8 Still at South Georgia
3 degree in the morning. Our original plan was to make one landing in the morning but the sea and wind conditions were not favourable and we had to wait to see the weather condition would become friendlier at a later time. It did get better and we made a landing at Fortuna Bay and the weather was beautiful (much better than the day before), so the cameras were happily working in dry conditions and we took some video shots too. In summary, king penguins and fur seals were everywhere on this bay and we also saw elephant seals, and reindeer at a far distance. Often the fur seals are very curious and would come up and inspect us. Now because we were late on our schedule which did not leave enough time to do the final 5km of Shackleton trail from Fortuna Bay to Stromness whaling station, it was supposed to be one of the highlights of this trip, this showed we were in a region where we were very much at the mercy of nature.

After an early dinner, we were able to go onshore again, this time landing at Stromness Bay whaling station where Shackleton found safety after his 2-year failed journey to cross the South Pole during 1914-1916. The whaling station had ceased operation since the late 1960s and had not been made safe for tourist to visit. By the time we land, it was already getting dark, we made a short walk to see the waterfall where Shackleton climbed down, we had to be extra careful not to step on the baby fur seals which looked exactly like the bumpy mud in darkness.

We met a couple from US who had publised a book with photos taken from 50 countries!

Fortuna_Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica, 23 Jan 2008



Click photo to view album

20080123 Wednesday Day 8 Still at South Georgia
3 degree in the morning. Our original plan was to make one landing in the morning but the sea and wind conditions were not favourable and we had to wait to see the weather condition would become friendlier at a later time. It did get better and we made a landing at Fortuna Bay and the weather was beautiful (much better than the day before), so the cameras were happily working in dry conditions and we took some video shots too. In summary, king penguins and fur seals were everywhere on this bay and we also saw elephant seals, and reindeer at a far distance. Often the fur seals are very curious and would come up and inspect us. Now because we were late on our schedule which did not leave enough time to do the final 5km of Shackleton trail from Fortuna Bay to Stromness whaling station, it was supposed to be one of the highlights of this trip, this showed we were in a region where we were very much at the mercy of nature.

After an early dinner, we were able to go onshore again, this time landing at Stromness Bay whaling station where Shackleton found safety after his 2-year failed journey to cross the South Pole during 1914-1916. The whaling station had ceased operation since the late 1960s and had not been made safe for tourist to visit. By the time we land, it was already getting dark, we made a short walk to see the waterfall where Shackleton climbed down, we had to be extra careful not to step on the baby fur seals which looked exactly like the bumpy mud in darkness.

We met a couple from US who had publised a book with photos taken from 50 countries!

Right Whale Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica, 22 Jan 2008



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20080122 Tuesday Day 7 South Georgia - Right Whale Bay and Elsehul

Again weather was getting colder around 10 degree in the morning. We finally saw land during breakfast. It was raining in the morning. Finally after over 2 days at sea we got to land again. Since it was cold and raining. We put all our water-proof gear on to prepare for the landing. There were huge colonies of fur seals and king penguins on Right Whale Bay, absolutely everywhere. The seals population has both adults and pups and they were very cruious about us. At times, we were being chased by the seals and we couldn't quite tell whether it was an act of aggression or simply their ways of saying hello. Many of the penguins were molting and could look rather ugly. We were amazed by the sheer number of animals on this bay. There were some birds and we even saw a skeleton of a whale scattering on the bay, the vertibrate of the whale made a rather good small bench with flat surface on both ends. Occassionally we spotted some dead seals bodies and the birds were helping themselves to a nice meal. The fur seals also swam around our zodiacs, while they looked clumpsy on land, they were very good and smooth swimmers, they swam along the zodiacs in small groups and in harmonic motions. The rain and the wind made it very difficult to take pictures, my small camera had stopped working after too much water got into the case. Nonetheless we had some nice pictures and movies to remind us how beauitful this place was.

The afternoon session was a ride on the zodiac to see the coastal area called Elsehul where more king penguins, fur seals were found, also spotted some Gentoo penguins and elephant seals. The elephant seals just laid there doing nothing, looked rather lazy!!! But then what would you do if you have almost no predator and food is abandunt. Irene thought the ride would be too cold for her and she opted out. With the experience of the rain this morning, I decided not to take out the camera too often under this kind of weather and thus only took a few pictures, it was hard to take decent pictures against the distance, the wind, the rain, the rocking zodiac and fellow passengers cramped on the same boat.

During the briefing section, Roger the Expedition leader explained about the potential Sheckelton walk on South Georgia, the final march to his rescue in 1916. We might do the final 5km of his walk if weather permits, not an easy trail and Roger was trying to scare some people off just to make sure that only the really fit would join, because there was no turning back and the walk was difficult for some.

The dinner had a Russian Theme and the waitresses all dressed up to the occasion.
We watched a documentary on Antarctica by David Attenbourough produced for National Geographic, great summary of the wild-life in this region.

The Sony camera after much hair-dryer blowing finally sprung back to life.