Thursday, 26 December 2013


Overnight we traveled to Fortuna Bay and this landing started at 0700. The weather conditions were heavy overcast, with fog, the temperature was just above freezing and it rained throughout most of the landing. Fortunately the wind never increased above the level of a moderate breeze.

From our landing site we had to skirt along the back of the beach to avoid often aggressive male fur seals. Once clear of the males and their harems we had a walk inland on the outwash plain of the Konig Glacier. The King Penguin colony is immense! All stages in the life cycle of the Kings could be seen from eggs to chicks to downy adolescents to ‘yearlings’ that do not yet have full colored plumage to thousands of adults to molting adults.
After lunch we reorganized and about 90 of us were landed on the west side of Fortuna Bay to do the Shackleton hike. We were to follow the path that Sir Ernest, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley traversed as the last part of their never before accomplished traverse across the backbone of South Georgia. Our hike ended adjacent to the Stromness whaling station.

At the end of its operational life Stromenss was used as a ship repair facility and evidence of this is documented by the dozen or so ships propellers that are on the beach. These propellers also provide resting spots for the “weaner” fur seals that populate the area.

Near the end of the landing some of us took Polarcirkels boat to the north end of the Stromness beach and here we began the steep upward climb on our hike over the loose shale and ridges to reach the area of the Lieth station. All arrived at the pick-up point at a small bay outside the Leith no trespassing zone and we arrived back at the FRAM in time for a hearty and deserved dinner.