Drygalski Fjord and Moltke Harbor

Nov 01, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


A fantastic sunrise on a clear sky illuminated the flabbergasting profile of the South Georgian mountains and glaciers. The entrance to Drygalski Fjord was dotted with ’bergs and birds, presenting a very Antarctic scene in this the southernmost part of the island.

We sailed all the way in to have close-up views of the glacier at the fjord’s end. On our way out, we found that several humpback whales were feeding nearby, unconcerned by the awful way we humans have treated them around here in the past. They have seemingly forgiven us, and they allowed us to observe them for a while.

In the afternoon, we went ashore after a successful though adventurous landing, thanks to the expertise and hard effort of the staff and crew who pulled the Zodiacs onto the beach. We observed a great concentration of elephant seals; perhaps 2,000 individuals or more were covering the sunny, sandy beach. There were females giving birth, calves demanding food, and giant males fighting for the right to mate and putting on a show of a different scale. It was hard to believe that in a few weeks, most of them would take to the sea where they truly belong and not return to land for another year!

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About the Author

Santiago Imberti

Naturalist

An ornithologist, photographer, fisherman, climber, and writer, Santiago Imberti was born and raised in southern Patagonia, Argentina. He obtained a degree in tourism and later in ornithology, which allowed him to combine his love for nature and the outdoors with his work as a birdwatcher, naturalist, fly fishing, and mountain guide. He has been guiding trips in Patagonia, the Antarctic, and Arctic for some 25 years.

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