Please note, not all of these pictures were taken by me. There were a lot of really excellent photographers on the trip, and some of them very kindly shared their best photos. Where possible I have attributed the picture taker, if it wasn’t me or Maaike.
I should say, that, before the trip Val said “Any day you can get off the ship is a good day”. We were able to get off the ship every day, and land at most places we wanted to (everything except Elephant Island). This is unusual, so, if you do take a cruise, don’t come crying to me if you get off the boat a lot less than we did ;). Also, I’ve probably messed up the ordering of at least a few of these pictures… still, most of them are attributed to the correct place.
Anyway, onwards, the second day we started at Stromness. This is another whaling station and also the place where Shackleton arrived after having crossed the seas from Elephant Island, and then crossing South Georgia itself (never been done before, the crossing only repeated a handful of times).
One can only imagine the relief it must have been for Shackleton and co to have heard the whaling bell and descended down the waterfall to the safety of the whaling station.
It was also weird, to then, after our few hours on shore (and then a cruise around in a zodiac) to go back on board for yet another delicious buffet lunch. The juxtaposition of the luxury we were in to the harsh harsh times those explorers were in.. couldn’t have been more polar ;)
While lunch was being had, the boat was moved around to St. Andrews, Largest King Penguin colony on South Georgia, Antarctic fur seals and the largest beach used by southern elephant seals on South Georgia. It’s quite a site, 200,000 penguins all on a beach.
The Kings were moulting, from their juvenile state to adult, and looked in quite the state of disrepair, like they were half dressed. They’re not waterproof while moulting either, so can’t get food, it’s not a very happy time for a penguin.