Newcastle Downunder

By jensphotos

South Georgia

As we approached South Georgia, the bird life increased and I saw my first Wandering Albatross on the trip.  I noticed some porpoising macaroni penguins after land was sighted just before lunch.  For biomass, these are the largest number of penguins in the world.  That I say surprised me as they were the least sighted penguins on our trip.  They live mainly on sub Antarctic Islands.

We motored past Cooper Island  and into Drygalski Fjord where this blip was taken.  At the end of the Ford is a massive glacier with glaciers feeding into it along the way.  We saw and heard (a massive boom) some carving too and a lone leopard seal on an iceberg.

It was then a zodiac cruise through Larsen Harbour.  Fur seals playing on the side.  Lots of elephant seals and more penguins.  Gentoos no less.  Some weddell seals right at the far end of the harbour.  Towering cliffs – a magic place.
After dinner it was another zodiac cruise.  In choppy seas with failing light it wasn't much chop but we did see some macaroni penguins.  Unfortunately I got rather wet being splashed and while not everything was dry in the morning, the camera was unharmed as I had packed it away in my backpack.

Meanwhile, for Shackleton and his men on the James Caird,  after 14 days, on 8 May 1916 South Georgia was sighted.  Two days later, after a prolonged struggle with heavy seas and hurricane-force winds to the south of the island, the party struggled ashore at King Haakon Bay on the North West side of the Island.  Against the odds and thanks to the accuracy of Worsely's navigation, they had made it to South Georgia. 
More to come on the crossing of the Island.  As you can see from some of these images, it has amazing Mountains.

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