Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Prion Island & Rosita Harbour

Nov 04, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer


“In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover gem like above the bay.”  Those beautiful words were Ernest Shackleton’s last entry into his diary the night of the 4th of January 1922. Today was largely taken up with The Boss, as he was known to his men, for a good number of us walked the last few miles of the Shackleton walk; starting in Fortuna Bay and ending at Stromness Whaling Station. The rest of us were either able to walk up to the Shackleton Waterfall or catch glimpses of it from the old whaling station. No matter which activity we undertook we could but marvel at the incredible boat journey that he and five men undertook to reach the island of South Georgia and then three of them were to be the very first people to cross this island. It was an incredible feat and its success meant that the 22 men left on Elephant Island could be rescued.

During the afternoon, we visited Prion Island in the Bay of Isles and in very challenging winds we made our way up the boardwalk, seeing the occasional pipit and pintail up to catch fleeting and faraway glimpses of giant petrels and wandering albatrosses on their breeding grounds. Even though the albatrosses were some way off we were able to appreciate a little more about these incredible long-lived seabirds who have made the Southern Ocean their home.

During the evening, the National Geographic Explorer headed into the shelter of Rosita Harbour for the night.

“In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover gem like above the bay.”  Those beautiful words were Ernest Shackleton’s last entry into his diary the night of the 4th of January 1922. Today was largely taken up with The Boss, as he was known to his men, for a good number of us walked the last few miles of the Shackleton walk; starting in Fortuna Bay and ending at Stromness Whaling Station. The rest of us were either able to walk up to the Shackleton Waterfall or catch glimpses of it from the old whaling station. No matter which activity we undertook we could but marvel at the incredible boat journey that he and five men undertook to reach the island of South Georgia and then three of them were to be the very first people to cross this island. It was an incredible feat and its success meant that the 22 men left on Elephant Island could be rescued.

During the afternoon, we visited Prion Island in the Bay of Isles and in very challenging winds we made our way up the boardwalk, seeing the occasional pipit and pintail up to catch fleeting and faraway glimpses of giant petrels and wandering albatrosses on their breeding grounds. Even though the albatrosses were some way off we were able to appreciate a little more about these incredible long-lived seabirds who have made the Southern Ocean their home.

During the evening, the National Geographic Explorer headed into the shelter of Rosita Harbour for the night.

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About the Author

Edward Shaw

Naturalist

Edward Shaw has travelled widely as a naturalist and guide. For the past 29 years he has lived with his family in northwestern Patagonia, initially working as a teacher and subsequently working in community projects before returning to expedition ships. Edward is deeply committed to the principles behind sustainable development. He is happily married and the father of five children.

About the Photographer

Gianluca Colla

National Geographic Photographer

Gianluca Colla has traveled and photographed around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Africa’s deserts and from the Amazon to the streets of London. He has covered a diverse range of topics including the secrets of the longest-living centenarians in the world, a lost Da Vinci painting, and hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

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