Woke up just in time to arrive to St Andrews bay in South Georgia. Here you can find one of the largest colonies in the world of King penguins, elephant and fur seals. The weather report stated -5 C and windy but we woke up to blue sky, almost no wind at all and actually really warm and nice temperature.
Before we jumped on the zodiacs we were warned that it would be many animals on the beach but I wasn’t really prepared for it anyway. Literally it was King penguins or elephant seals wherever you looked. Its really hard to guess how many it was but according to Wikipedia there is around 150 000 penguins in this colony and my only thoughts are, I’m not sure that’s enough.
Besides being the next biggest penguin they are both handsome and social. If you took the time to sit down and just relax for a minute you were surrounded by some curios and brave penguins who wanted to check out what kind of strange person you were. The elephant seal was not that social, they pretty much just slept on the beach, burping and farting all day long. As you may understand it didn’t smell nice here and you were wandering around in a mix of penguin poo, feathers and bones and carcass, a bit disgusting but overall it was a magical good landing!
Our second stop for the day was Grytviken which was the whaling station of all whaling stations until it was abandoned during the 1960’s. Today there are only ruins left of the whaling station but there is a museum, a church and a small shop for souvenirs. There is no permanent residents but during summer the museum is open and some researchers are staying here.
This landing was more about history than looking at nature. Interesting and kind a tragically to see how the whaling industry actually became a industry but for me who loves old abandoned buildings it was like heaven to just stroll around, see the old rusty ship wrecks, buildings and the bones from the old, butchered whales.
Since our goal is Antarctica we took a stroll up to the graveyard and at Ernest Shackletons grave we took a toast for him and once we were back on the ship glühwein and a barbecue was waiting, I promise, I’m not bored anymore!