Monday, 12 November 2012


Overnight the Captain took us from Stromness to Cumberland Bay. Blue skies and the reflections of the surrounding peaks and buildings gave us a taste of what was on offer for the landing ahead. Sarah Lurkock from the South Georgia Heritage Trust came on board to give us all a talk about the work of the Trust and the rat eradication programme, whilst the ship was cleared by the South Georgia Governement officer who ensured we had undertaken the neccesary biosecurity measures. We were given the go ahead and we were off.
The calmness of the early morning ceased with a cool wind reminding us where we were. We paid our respects to those buried in the cemetry including its most distinguished inhabitants - Shackleton and Wild. The resident fur seals on the most part behaved and did not even blink an eye as we walked past.
A few of us took advantage of a guided tour of the whaling station whilst the others enjoyed walking up the hill to the lake taking in the panoramic views.
The museum gave an excellent insight into life at Grytviken which at its height had in the region of 1000 inhabitants and during its 60 years of operation the efficient killing and processing of the 1.25 million whales that were taken in Southern Hemisphere. 
Some interesting bird life was seen including an out of place duck - for the birders amongst you will spot the difference! At lunch time we said our farewells to Grytviken as we sailed from Cumberland bay and set our course for the South Orkney Islands. We were treated with views of impressive icebergs of all shapes and sizes sparkling in the afternoon light. The peaks of South Georgia looked even more jagged an inhospitable - what a magical few days we have just had.