Monday 28 December 2009

Fortuna Bay and Stromness Bay

An incredible day was spent among the mountains, glaciers, fur seals and King Penguins of South Georgia Island. The morning landing was at Fortuna Bay, home to masses of King Penguins and pesky fur seals. It rained throughout the landing, but this example of extreme humidity did not dampen our spirits for experiencing a bit of ‘real’ Antarctic weather. Reindeer introduced from Norway as food for the whalers were also seen in strange contrast to the penguins. Heaving anchor, the sturdy Fram sailed to the now derelict Stromness ship repair station. We were met by a horde of fur seals guarding the landing beach. This was the place where Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men staggered to after their epic crossing of South Georgia Island. A tromp through thick mud and clumps of tussock grass brought us to a small whaler’s cemetery. Fur seals grunted and squeaked the entire time we were ashore. We also saw the smaller gentoo penguins. It was an excellent day spent on this magical island in the South Atlantic.