Nov 14, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
Our day unfolded in three chapters, with the first beginning at 4:45 a.m., when an announcement voice came over the PA system. We had arrived at Fortuna Bay, and our distance hikers would disembark at 5:30 a.m. (after a few chocolate croissants). Their long hike skirted the western side of the bay, dodging fur seals, admiring elephant seal pups, and photographing penguins. The fur seals become more and more ornery this time of year, so the guides had their work cut out for them, protecting guests along the beaches. After a couple of hours, everyone was positioned at the beach near a king penguin colony.
Explorers Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean hiked through Fortuna Bay en route to Stromness in 1916. We passed Whistle Cove, where these men heard the whistle from the whaling factory at Stromness and knew they were close to salvation.
After breakfast, on our way to the end of Shackleton’s hike at Stromness, we saw our first killer whales. A group of Type A killer whales, including calves, swam near the bow and delighted the crowd that gathered to see them.
Despite this stop, we still had time for a gorgeous hike up to the waterfall behind Stromness. We saw the old whaling station and heard more tales of Shackleton’s great feat of leadership.
It was difficult to believe we hadn’t even had lunch yet.
That afternoon, we visited Jason Point and saw an old hut that used to be on the mail run between stations. The photo group and hiking groups were joined by a small but committed writing group who used the hut for the first meeting of the Writers of the Southern Ocean.
Was all of that only one day?
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