Gold Harbour and St. Andrews Bay

Feb 28, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

Today was, more than anything, the great king penguin day! A good number of early risers who had responded to Expedition Leader Peter Wilson´s wake-up call at 4:45 a.m. were set ashore on Gold Harbour. The weather was overcast with a light snowfall. This site is one of South Georgia´s most spectacular landing spots and resembles an amphitheater, with a wide, flat beach framed by lush slopes, steep rocks, and a glacier. The beach is home to a large colony of king penguins, fur seals, and elephant seals. Those who got up at normal wake-up time were shuttled to the beach just after breakfast, and we all spent the morning ashore.

As we sailed toward our next stop, naturalist Hannah Kriesell gave an intriguing presentation on king penguins, the great stars of the day. We then landed at St. Andrews Bay—by far the largest colony of king penguins on South Georgia. Due to the swell, guests were set ashore on the most sheltered part of the beach and were guided across a river toward the central part of the colony. What an incredible day!

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About the Author

Carl Erik Kilander


Carl was born in Norway and received a master’s degree in forestry and nature conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 1973. His professional experience is mainly connected to environmental issues and natural resource management on the Norway mainland and in Svalbard. A major part of his professional experience comprises planning and management of protected areas, particularly in the southern parts of Norway and Svalbard. During the period 1999-2001 Carl was Head of the Environmental Department at the Governor of Svalbard´s office. He has also been District Manager (southwestern Norway) followed by the position of Senior Environmental Adviser at the Norwegian State Forest Service.

About the Videographer

Eric Wehrmeister

Video Chronicler

Eric began his life on the far western edge of Chicago, where the concrete meets the cornfields.  His inspiration has always drawn from the expansive beauty of the natural world, as well as the endless forms that populate it.

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