Edit Blog Post
Published: February 20th 2019
5. Stromness & Fortuna Bay
We were going to be woken at 6.00am for those who wanted to do a 4 hour trek which was part of the path that Ernest Shackleton took from Furtuna Bay to Stromness Bay on the east coast of the country. The path continued to King Haakon Bay on the west coast of St Georgia. Unfortunately, there was cloud covering the mountain so the impact of the walk would have been minimal and the swell in the ocean was too great for the launching of the zodiacs as Furtuna was more exposed than Stromness Bay. The One Ocean team always had plan B and that was to sail to the more protected Stromness Bay.
After a 7.30am breakfast, we all got into zodiacs (10 per zodiac) and landed at the Stromness beach where there was a derelict whaling station which was full of asbestos. It was also home to King penguins and some fur seals.
Once we finished photographing the king penguins, we started a 2 km walk up the glacial valley towards to waterfall that Shackleton and his men climbed and abseiled down at the end
of their walk from the west side.
The people who was going to do the 4 hour trek which was cancelled, decided to walk the opposite way to Shackleton to see another most spectacular view of the Bay. It was stunning. We could see our ship in the Bay in the distance, as well as get a great appreciation of the size of the rapidly receding glacier. We didn’t walk far enough to see towards Fortuna Bay, but it was better than not going at all and we were all satisfied. In hindsight, we could have done the long walk because it was very clear. This is the fickle nature of the weather patterns in this part of the wold – very unpredictable! There was a lot of screed on the mountain-side so walking down was by side step only. We all took it easy. It reminded me of walking down from the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro which was almost exactly 12 months ago. The major difference was my legs were not tired!!!
The wind along the valley walking towards to waterfall was gale-force so it was tough going, however that meant that we
had a tail wind going back to the beach, so we did the 2km walk almost running.
6. Saint Andrews Bay, South Georgia
Next, we were to see the mass penguin colony on St Andrews Bay. However, the swell on the sea made zodiac landing impossible, even though the sun was shining, and the sky was blue, the sea was not behaving itself. Through my camera which has fantastic zoom and through the binoculars, I could see the big, big colony stretched along the beach and up the mountain. It was impressive.
As we have learned from this trip, if one door closed, another door opened. Instead of going ashore, we saw at the mouth of St Andrews Bay, the most amazing display by multiple Humpback whales. It was fantastic. We probably saw at least 8 whales including a mother and calf.
We then saw our first very big iceberg. The captain of our ship navigated the ship totally around the iceberg. What made this very special was that it was sunset at around 7.15pm. The colours were glorious. The One Ocean staff said that this iceberg was
to ‘warm us up for the sights we will be seeing in Antarctica’!!!!
Tot: 0.032s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 6; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0062s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb