Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Getting to know the king

The king in question is King George III of England and today we have arrived at one of the most spectacular islands in the world, named for King George by Captain Cook, and called South Georgia.

Every landing you make on South Georgia is a huge accomplishment because of often severe weather and water conditions, so we can pat ourselves on the back that we made two landings today! In the morning we visited the area around the Strømness whaling station, and there saw reindeer, elephant and fur seals, Gentoo and King Penguins, and several other bird species. It snowed ALL MORNING but this did not deter us. All returned to the ship with smiles on their wet faces.

After a short reposition to Fortuna Bay we made a wonderful landing at the King Penguin rookery there. We saw a few dead King Penguin chicks (which is normal), and one was being scavenged by an adult Gaint Petrel. By then the morning snow had turned to afternoon rain and the long walk to the colony provided great views of elephant and fur seals (and in the case of the latter, strong smells of onion and garlic given off by the males). The Norwegian weather forecast ( we had for today was spot on and predicted the winds to pick up, which happened just as we were about to leave the landing site.