From the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica
Feb 26, 2013 - National Geographic Explorer
At Sea to South Georgia Island
This morning we are at sea traveling in a northeasterly direction. We have made good time from Elephant Island with a mostly following sea. It is, however, lively enough for a good soaring show from the seabirds, particularly the albatrosses!
Today we have more preparations for our upcoming visit to South Georgia. There are lectures, “hands-on” photography workshops and another round of outer clothing decontamination. The South Georgian government has become very serious about “turning-back-the-clock” on biological invasions. They are not only concerned with their rats and reindeer, not that we are carrying any of those, they also fear yet more weedy plants. South Georgia has less than 20 native species of flowering plants; there are more species of introduced plants.
Coming from Antarctica, perhaps the greater danger would be introducing pathogens that would affect local birds. Therefore everyone gave a good scrub to their boots and waterproof pants.
In the mid-afternoon we approached South Georgia. At first we could only see huge tabular icebergs that had grounded on the continental shelf, then the high, rugged mountains came into sight.
We had enough time and daylight before dinner to cruise off Drygalski Fjord to the Risting Glacier. Aside from the dramatic, vertical landscape and ice, we were able to watch the sunset moon rising.