King Haakon Bay & Peggotty Bluff

Feb 25, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

With winds prevailing as high as 60 knots, we were not able to do a landing this first morning in South Georgia. Instead, our guests had a chance to learn more about glaciology by naturalist Andreas Madsen, followed by an introduction to what goes on behind the scenes on National Geographic Orion, led fondly under the auspices of hotel manager Tracy Greiner and chief engineer Vadym Pohorelov. Meanwhile, our expedition leader monitored the wind carefully and found the perfect opening for us to disembark. We lunched and afterward managed a clean and seamless landing on the South Georgian bank!

Cave Cove in King Haakon Bay was where Shackleton and his men first landed after their epic journey from Elephant Island. It was at Cave Cove where the rudder of James Caird (Shackleton’s vessel) was ripped off but managed to float back into the cove later, where they would repair the boat. From Cave Cove, they moved to Peggoty Bluff.

This bluff, where we ourselves landed, was where an exhausted crew of Shakelton’s made shelter by upturning James Caird in order to rest before three of the group’s six would embark on a scarcely charted route to the town Stromness on South Georgia’s eastern shore. They named their camp after the Peggotty family in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, who lived in home built from a boat.

As we followed the first footsteps of Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley’s journey toward the whaling station in the southeast, the guests had good chance to have stretch of their legs, after a couple of days at sea.

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About the Author

Andreas Madsen


Andreas was born in the village of Ebeltoft on the central east coast of Denmark and has spent his childhood years with the sea and open fields as neighbours. For a child of the North, fishing, bicycling, skiing, and hiking come along with your first steps and nature has always had a self-explanatory role in Andreas’ life. Between studies he left Denmark to travel and it was during his months in South America he discovered his curiosity and interest for geology. In 2013 he left Ebeltoft for the big(ger…) city Aarhus to begin his geology studies at Aarhus University. During his five years there he has been involved in different types of research projects, taking him to remote places such as Iceland, Svalbard, Greenland, and the Geographic North Pole. His latest research project, which investigates aspects of narwhal biology and ecology from a vessel in Scoresby Sound, Greenland, has been ongoing since 2017.

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