South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Things to Do

  • Romantic walk
    Romantic walk
    by darrmont
  • Things to Do
    by darrmont
  • Lost in thought ammong King Penguins
    Lost in thought ammong King Penguins
    by darrmont

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Things to Do

  • Gritviken Whaling Station, South Georgia

    Quite a few years since my visit. (1982) I visited the South Atlantic aboard HMS Yarmouth during the Falkland's war and was rewarded with a visit to the whaling station at Gritviken. We called in en route to South Thule to remove a contingent of Argentinian's who were placed under arrest and taken to Port Stanley. The Whaling station was totally...

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  • Wildlife viewing in South Geogia

    Our trip to South Georgia was spread over a period of about a week and was done on the Polar Pioneer with Aurora Expeditions of Sydney Australia. The highlight of the trip to these remote islands is the abundance of Penguins (total of 10 Million on the islands) Seals (incredible in their abundance and variety of species) birds, whales and...

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  • Prion Island - Penguins II

    I could only see a few King Penguins, mainly on the rocky islands opposite Prion Island, probably resting on their way to the main colonies further south. Here definitely the Gentoo Penguin was in larger numbers.

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  • Prion Island - Penguins

    Here on Prion Island some 2000 Gentoo Penguins have created their colony. The colony is situated high above the ground on a rocky cliff. The penguins would arrive these areas from the south end of the landing beach, plodding up a narrow rock gully through dense tussac.

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  • The vegetation

    In this extreme climate very little vegetation grows. The islands do not have a single tree, yet within the short summers many species adapted to this harsh environment. One can find 125 species of mosses, 85 liverworts and 200 of lichens.

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  • Gold Harbour - Handicapped Penguin

    I suppose as in human life also within penguin colonies there are handicapped penguins. Sitting on the beach at Gold Harbour I encountered this penguin who very brave was marching up and down the beach with sheer determination.

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  • Prion Island - Bay of Isles

    A stunning bay that surround is Prion Island, with massive glaciers and towering peaks right to the opposite of the island. From the high cliffs of Prion Island a great view spot!

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  • Prion Island - Baby seal feeding

    On the post where I was to work during the day, assisting our troop up along the slippery and muddy pathway I heard some noises from the side. I realized that about a meter away a seal was hiding with her young one. Both the adult and the young were seemingly comfortable with my presence since young started feeding off the mother. Another...

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  • Prion Island - Seal Babies

    Arriving on Prion Island was like arriving in a kindergarten for seals. Everywhere one would find young seals, some a few days old. Many times the seals were left behind as the mother was hunting for food.

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  • Prion Island - Albatross Nesting

    Albatrosses nest in union, as the one part of the pair is incubating the egg the other partner is one the way somewhere in search of food. The wandering albatrosses are one of the few species that also breed during the southern winter. Their chick rearing period is an average of 278 days!!

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  • Prion Island - Juvenile Albatrosses

    Since Prion Island is a breeding island many juvenile albatrosses venture around. It is a funny yet amazing sight when these young birds train their wings and try to fly. On some occasion the bird would make a crash landing. These chicks only get fed on an average every five days while the parents are venturing around the South Atlantic in search...

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  • Prion Island - Albatrosses

    The island is an important breeding ground for wandering albatrosses, a massive bird that is an endangered species. The birds can be up to 10 kg heavy and have a wingspan of over 3 meters. An amazing fact is that most birds pair for life. Some of the albatrosses are reported to be travelling more then 7500 km in less then two weeks with speed over...

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  • Prion Island

    Prion Island is a very special island, and rarely visited except as part of a scientific expedition. The island lies in the Bay of Isles towards the west end of South Georgia's northeast coast. It is a site of high environmental sensitivity and exceptional conservation value. An absolutely amazing island with many attractions!

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  • Fortuna Bay - Neumayer Glacier

    Another glacier within Fortuna Bay also carries a very German name - the Neumayer Glacier, though the mountains behind the glaciers are the Three Brothers, Larssen Peak and Marikoppa, giving a good impression of the various nationalities that were involved to give towns, mountains and glaciers names within South Georgia.

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  • Fortuna Bay - Koenig Glacier

    Right at the end of Fortuna Bay one can find the massive Koenig (King) Glacier - it almost resembles an alpine scenery, henceforth the German name for this glacier.

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  • Fortuna Bay - Wildlife

    As in other parts of South Georgia also Fortuna Island has got various colonies of seals and penguins. Entering the bay one could hear the noises coming from the shore, and the sea was like a highway of penguins and seals swimming from one side to the other.

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  • Fortuna Bay

    Fortuna Bay is to be entered between Cape Best and Cape Robertson on the central north coast, the bay itself is a 6 km long fjord leading to the heart of South Georgia's rugged interior. Sadly on our arrival the weather had changed from a sunny day to a misty day. Part of travel in South Georgia, the weather can change within minutes.

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  • Gold Harbour - Giant Petrel

    Another bird that can be seen on the beach and other part of the South Georgia Islands are Giant Petrels. Giant petrels superficially resemble the albatross, and are the only procellarids with a comparable wingspan or around 190 cm.

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  • Gold Harbour - Betrab Glacier II

    Sadly global warming has not stopped here either - the Betrab Glacier used to drop right into the ocean and now has moved up all the way to the top of the mountain. A dramatic retreat - if it continues to move backwards as in the last 20 years, soon there will be no glacier left!

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  • Gold Harbour - Betrab Glacier

    Towering above the beach almost like an amphitheatre is the Betrab Glacier. Just below a number of waterfalls drop down to the little rivers that run into the sea.

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  • Gold Harbour - Visit to the 1st Aid...

    As you can see on the two pictures the animals on the beach are very inquisitive, this elephant seal decided to spare us a visit at the First Aid Station on the beach... she did not like our life vests, and as everyone scrambled for cover proceeded to throw them around...

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  • Gold Harbour - Fur Seals

    Quiet a few fur seals were around the beach, almost the entire time visible was a group of four youngsters who created havoc with penguins, and also with us. The youngsters seemingly were trying to see who was more scared, and each of them moved a little closer towards us... just to retreat and try again...

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  • Gold Harbour - Elephant Seals

    In between the thousand of penguins, scattered all over the beach are resting Elephant Seals. Some of the younger bulls are training for the time they need to fight themselves. The rest just slept making strange noises at times, or occasionally opening an eye to see who was approaching... but what better to do in the 6 degrees warm summer sun -...

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  • Gold Harbour - Surrounded!

    As you can see on the picture, taken on January 14, 2007 - it is an experience, here I am standing on a beach in South Georgia Island completely surrounded by penguins, seals and other wildlife. And if one follows the rules, such as to keep a 5 meter distance to the penguins and seals, or to remain quiet and to walk slowly one will not impact - and...

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  • Gold Harbour - Penguins III

    Almost lost in the large colony of King Penguins are the few Gentoo Penguins that stroll around the beach. Their colony a much smaller one is on top of the hill, so whenever they are going to hunt, they have to cross the King's territory to make their way to the beach. Though it appeared that both like each other!

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  • Gold Harbour - Penguins II

    ...particularly if one is in the middle of about 100.000 penguins on this small area... the colours, the noises, the smell :-)... as I said... one cannot describe it... one has to see it!

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  • Gold Harbour - Penguins

    King Penguins can be seen in abundance all over South Georgia, also in Gold Harbour. One relaxes or sits down on the ground and the penguins will walk right up and investigate. A sighting that one cannot describe - one simply has to experience it.

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  • Gold Harbour

    Gold Harbour lies at the foot of the Salvesen Range about 20 km north of Cape Vahsel. It is regarded by many as one of South Georgia's most beautiful visitor sites, and I can only agree. An amphitheatre of hanging glaciers and vertical cliffs rises straight out of the sea. Another breathtaking site - and the visit was blessed with clear sky and...

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  • Reindeer

    Yes you are reading right, Reindeer in Antarctica.... Brought from Scandinavia by Norwegian whalers they now life as wild animals on South Georgia. It took two winters to change the habit of breeding in the European summer and adapt to the Southern summers. Now one can see them isolated in the various valleys - as we did in St. Andrews Bay high up...

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  • Drygalski Fjord - Icebergs

    At first one would imagine that the floating icebergs that one can see at the entrance come from one of the massive glaciers inside the fjord, wrong, these icebergs make the journey from ice far greater then here - the Antarctic mainland.

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  • Drygalski Fjord - Ice Water

    Not quiet the right water to jump in and swim in. The broken off pieces of the glaciers tumble down into the ocean creating a layer of ice that floats and eventually melts; here the summer water temperature was 2.9 degrees Centigrade.

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  • Drygalski Fjord - Penguins

    Also here one can find hundreds of King Penguins ashore and hunting in the fjord, an amazing sight to see these penguins hurriedly swimming from one side to the other, with a hell of a speed.

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  • Dead End Glacier

    A few hundred meters before the end of the Drygalski Fjord one can see a glacier on the right hand side. The Dead End Glacier moves from the mountain range above. Huge cracks in the glacier can be seen and when we passed pieces of ice was thundering down into the sea below.

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  • Jenkins Glacier - Drygalski Fjord

    To the left of the Risting Glacier one finds another large glacier making its way from the mountains above - the Jenkins Glacier. The glacier splits in two parts making its way to the Drygalski Fjord.

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  • Risting Glacier - Drygalski Fjord

    Right at the end of the Drygalski Fjord one can find the massive Risting Glacier, the glacier which is several kilometres long drops into the ocean from a height of over 60 meters.

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  • Drygalski Fjord

    Drygalski Fjord lies about halfway between Cooper Bay and Green Island off Cape Disappointment at the southeast of the island. The fjord is 14 km long and very narrow. Spectacular peaks rise directly out of the sea to over 2000 meter altitude.

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  • St. Andrews Bay - Elephant Seals

    As with the King Penguins one can find the largest concentration of Elephant Seals on South Georgia in St. Andrews Bay. To absorb the scenery overload the best way is to find a quiet spot and to simply enjoy the sight - and what a sight it is!!

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  • St. Andrews Bay - Penguin Chicks

    Within the 500.000 or so penguins one can also find a number of penguin chicks. The breeding circle of penguins is that one chick is raised every two year; hence each penguin chick has to endure one Antarctic winter before getting the adult fur. A harsh welcome to life!!

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  • St. Andrews Bay - Penguins

    One can not express the sight of St. Andrews Bay if one has not seen it with once own eyes. Coming ashore here I was overwhelmed by the sight of some 500.000 King Penguins. The largest colony of King Penguins - the sheer size of this colony is unimaginable.

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  • St. Andrews Bay

    St. Andrews Bay lies approximately 30 km southeast of the entrance to Cumberland Bay. The bay is fully exposed to the open sea and to the strong winds that plummet down from the ice-clad summits of the southern end of the Allardyce Range.

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  • King Williams Cove

    The sheltered bay that borders both Grytviken and King Williams Point is the King Williams Cove. Surrounded by high peaks with two glaciers and many streams flowing down from the mountains it is an absolutely stunning sight - a bonus that when I visited the clouds disappeared and all was clear!

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  • King Williams Point

    King Williams Point is the village where one can find the post office, the fishery control centre and various other administrative buildings important for South Georgia. Here is also the oldest building on the island - the prison! Close to King Williams Point one can find Shackleton's Cross in memory of the voyage onboard the Endurance to the...

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  • Grytviken Wildlife - Penguins II

    The second species of penguins to be found on Grytviken are the Gentoo Penguins. of which one can "only" find some 100.000 on South Georgia. During my visit I only spotted two Gentoo's - it appeared they were not very common to Grytviken.

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  • Grytviken Wildlife - Penguins

    There are thousands of penguins in South Georgia - and also right next to the town of Grytviken. The one displayed on the picture is the beautiful King Penguin of which quiet a few were resting along the waters edge or the river flowing from the mountain.

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  • Grytviken Wildlife - Fur Seals

    Mixed with the massive Elephant Seals here in Grytviken one can also see the smaller Fur Seals. Hundreds of them swim towards the rocky beach, and move towards the grass above. A busy place this is - right next to the houses, on the pier, and even in the middle of town.

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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Things to Do

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