Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord

Nov 17, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer


After six full days here on South Georgia, our time is coming to an end. Much like the elephant seals, which are almost finished with their mating season and will soon all head to sea, we too turned our sights to open ocean. Today was perhaps the most diverse day we have spent on this amazing island.

Expedition leader Doug Gualtieri made the brilliant decision to revisit Gold Harbor in the early morning pre-breakfast light. Earlier in this expedition we landed here, only to find all the magnificent creatures covered in rain. This morning Gold Harbor shone like the treasure it truly is. All who shook the sleep from their eyes were richly rewarded for the loss of a little slumber!

After breakfast we hiked and cruised Cooper Bay searching for macaroni penguins. We not only witnessed the sassy, crested macaroni penguin, but mating elephant seals and the births of the first Antarctic fur seal pups of the season!

Our afternoon was spent cruising the southeast extremity of South Georgia Island in Drygalski Fjord. Captain Oliver Kruess maneuvered the ship perfectly in front of the Risting Glacier, just as a huge “shooter” of ice breached the surface of the sea, surprising and delighting us all. Our late afternoon was spent cruising Larsen Harbor in the presence of Weddell seals and snow petrels, both of which breed here.

Stay tuned dear reader as we continue south into the Antarctic. We will be the first Lindblad/National Geographic expedition to start the 2017-2018 Antarctic season!

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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