Sunday, 4 March 2012

Good fortuna in Fortuna Bay and Stromness

The bay was named Fortuna Bay after Fortuna the first whale-catcher to operate out of Grytviken in the early 1900’s.  Fortuna Bay is home of a colony of King Penguins of about 7-8,000 breeding pairs, located about 1 km inland from Whistle Cove our landing site. On the colony at this time of the year, was possible to observe basically all the breeding stages, from copulations, eggs, recently hatched chicks to well grown nestlings.  Which is a plus for anyone looking into the breeding biology of this species of penguin.  At this site we were able to see what probably will be our last time to see Reindeer and penguins together on this island, since the local government is planning to eradicate the reindeer very soon.

Reindeer at Fortuna Bay - Photo: Manuel Marin

A young King Penguin - Photo Manuel Marin 
 With great fortune the weather did accompany us the whole day, and some of us went for a hike or the so called the Shackleton Walk which is a crossing from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.  Retracing the last bit of the route that Shackleton, Crean and Worsley hiked before reaching a place with humans. This is a 5.5 km walk that transverse  some hills trough a mountain pass with a maximum elevation of 300 m.

Young seals at Fortuna- Photo: Manuel Marin

Stromness harbor that started to operate in 1907 as a whale processing place and about 1931-32 became a ship repair yard for the South Georgia Company.

A view to Stromness -Photo: Manuel Marin