Tuesday 10 November 2015


After a great but cloudy day yesterday, we awoke to bright sunshine as we arrived to Maiviken (May Cove). There we dropped off our intrepid hikers who were to make their way up and over from Maiviken to Grytviken. The hike was spectacular with sun and little wind and an added bonus was the sighting of the endemic South Georgia Pipit at the beginning of the hike.

Image by Verena Meraldi
Image by Verena Meraldi
Image by Verena Meraldi
After the massive rat eradication program that just finished on South Georgia, the pipits are coming back. Rats eat the eggs and chicks of the pipits and many of the smaller seabirds breeding on the island. Although the eradication program has been completed, you can still contribute to the funding shortfall by going to the South Georgia Heritage Trust website: www.sght.org.

Yesterday we visited the whaling station at Strømness, which was off-limits to us because of asbestos risk and because the buildings are very unstable. Today in Gryviken we were able to actually walk through the remains of the Norwegian whaling station there. A few years ago the South Georgia government and the South Georgia Heritage Trust cleaned up the station of hazards with the result that access is now possible. By the way, a 'gryt' is a try pot (from Norwegian): a cauldron used to boil the seal blubber in the early days of Antarctic exploitation. To 'try-out' is render the oil our of the blubber. 'Vik' is a bay in Norwegian. 

Here you can see various tanks and generators in the whaling station and in the distance, the old church dating from 1913.

The chains used to pull the dead whales up the flensing plan lie in a pile.

A Wandering Albatross mount peers out the window of the Carr Maritime Gallery towards the Fram anchored offshore. The gallery is part of the museum at Gryviken.

An Antarctic Tern hunting for food need our landing site.

Some beautiful lenticular clouds developed of the mountains near Gryviken as we left.

And like our Falklands tour, South Georgia has just whizzed by- time has a different meaning in these places. Now we will spend a couple of days sailing in the Scotia Sea south and west to the Antarctic Peninsula.