Blogs from South Georgia, South America


South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 24th 2020

This is a tale of Penguins capturing our hearts. From the Falkland Islands we headed southeast across several hundred miles of open sea, the Scotia Sea to be exact. Our captain was steaming toward the South Georgia Islands as our anticipation grew. In one of our lectures they educated us on the Antarctic Convergence which we won’t provide you with many details. If you have interest, you can do more research, but the short version is that this is an area of warm and cold waters. The result is that this area of currents circling Antarctica can create fog and rough seas but is also quite rich in nutrients, so sea birds abound. Krill is the food of choice for many sea creatures and some birds. Remember as we travel along at sea we are having ... read more
Penguins huddle together
Follow Me
Out of the fog

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 12th 2019

Sunday – Tuesday 10-12 February: DAYS 9-11 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA Weather and ice dictated our crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. As with all of One Ocean’s itinerary planning, the Expedition Leader and Captain continually made decisions based on the sea and ice conditions at the time. Our luck continued. Yes, the seas were very slightly choppier and yes, one morning there was flurries of snow in the morning, but blue skies prevailed by lunch time. During these days at sea, we had presentations from our highly skilled professionals on the history of Ernest Shackleton, birds of the Antarctic, how pinnipeds feed (eg Elephant seals), identification of whales, cartography expeditions, If looks could Krill: Southern Ocean Food Web with Matt Allen, Shackleton’s Captain (movie) and Penguin Presentation. We even ... read more
28km iceberg  called B09F (1)
28km iceberg  called B09F (4)
Happy hour 'iceberg' coctail (4)

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 9th 2019

7. Gold Harbour, South Georgia We travelled further south to Gold Harbour which was an exposed bay, but the swell had calmed from the morning state. The Captain navigated his way very close to the beach, so our zodiac ride was reasonable short. As usual, we scrubbed our rubber boots with biosecurity approved solution so that we didn’t carry any disease or foreign waste onto Sth Georgia. Before we set foot onto South Georgia the first time, we had to scrub everything, removing foreign material from all the Velcro using wire brushes and vacuum cleaners. We had to have our cleaning effort signed off by One Ocean staff. At our first stop we also had biosecurity Sth Georgia Government Officers check us before we entered their country. It was excellent to see. There was also a ... read more
Female Elephant Seals at Gold Harbour
Fur seals - Gold Harbour
Gentoo Penguins - Gold Harbour (2)

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 8th 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 ... read more
Stromness Bay - hike along glacial floor to waterfall (2)
Stromness Bay - King Penguins (2)
First impressive iceberg seen in St Andrews Bay

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 7th 2019

3. Bay of Isles, Salisbury Plains – 9 degrees C, clear skies and water temperature 7 degrees ANOTHER spectacular vision before us, after our short zodiac ride to the shore was 200,000 king penguins. We walked up a small rise through the tussock grass to view this colony. It was AWSOME!! We were viewing the penguins in every stage possible, pairs, singles, babies, mating, some moulting and some almost finished, eggs etc. It was incredible seeing so many penguins in one spot. We sat and watched their behaviour for over an hour. What an experience to witness such a site full of different personalities in the penguins. Every now and then there would be half a dozen waddle past us on the way to the sea or back to the colony. They were very comfortable walking ... read more
King Penguins Salisbury Plains Bay of Isles Sth Georgia (5)
Fur Seals Salisbury Plains Sth  Georgia (2)

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 6th 2019

Monday/Tuesday 4/5 February - DAYS 3-4 / AT SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA We charted a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds once again joined us in the Southern Ocean. The weather was mild (7.5 C degrees) with a slight swell which was affecting some of the passengers. However, through the on-board doctor, seasick patches became very popular. Our educational presentations continue and were always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any trip to South Georgia. We also had a presentation on whales in the area. I also picked up some valuable tips from the onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. We ... read more
Gytviken South Georgia (28)
Gytviken South Georgia - toasting with whisky to Shakleton (3)
Gytviken South Georgia 1st zodiac ride (1)

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia February 6th 2019

South America » South Georgia February 15th 2018

“Above all else we wish that the name of South Georgia will forever represent an icy paradise, a place where nature is still mostly robust and the way of life of millions of birds ,and seals goes on almost unaltered by the peripheral presence of humans. A clean, pure spring of icy water in our collective consciousness, a soothing, refreshing balm amid the upheavals wrought upon the earth. A special place to cherish.” Tim & Pauline Carr. Paradise is a term we typically use to mean peace, quiet, relaxation or perfection… I think paradise is a hostile place - a place where we cannot live as mere humans - which is why it is a paradise. This paradise has a fluctuating equilibrium. Balance is chaos - and everything we do in efforts of conservation has neither ... read more
The Wanderer
King Intensity
King Penguins

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia December 13th 2016

“The inner part of the country was not less savage and horrible: the wild rocks raised their lofty summits till they were lost in the clouds and the valleys laid buried in everlasting snow. Not a tree or shrub was to be seen, no not even big enough to make a tooth-pick.” Captain James Cook, 1777 Mt Brown overlooks the administrative capital of King Edward Point and the old whaling station of Grytviken. Hiking to the summit was my first venture into the interior - it is a stunning place! The flat areas are really wet and swampy, the hills are steep and rocky – it’s a harsh environment. The view from the windy summit was superb – I was surrounded by a tangle of rugged glaciated peaks, deep valleys and fjord systems. Ah! South Georgia… ... read more
Standing Proud
St Andrew's Colony
A time for Reflection

South America » South Georgia » South Georgia November 2nd 2016

The next two days we were at sea and again the weather gods smiled on us although Ruth was a little sea sick, all we did was eat, sleep and attend lectures. Eventually we arrived in Elsehul Bay our first landing in South Georgia where we boarded a zodiac to go ashore. Here we encountered our first King Penguins, Elephant Seals and Antarctica Fur Seals as well as various seabirds including the carrion eating Skua. I had seen Elephant Seals from a distance in New Zealand but was unprepared for the sheer size of the males at close quarters. The King Penguins here were a bit ragged as they were molting, this affects their capability to swim and hunt which means they are hungry and miserable. At this site we also witnessed Elephant Seals mating and ... read more
Elsehul Bay
A big male Elephant Seal challenges a competitor
Close and personal

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