Mar 03, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer
Right Whale Bay was named in 1922 after the whale species that got its name from the whalers who considered it the “right whale to kill.” Right Whale Bay is only 1.5 miles wide and lies between Craigie and Nameless points. It is yet another stunning place in South Georgia: home to a king penguin colony, fur seals, elephant seals, and a waterfall that adds to the fantastic scenery.
When we arrived at the bay this morning however, we encountered over-40-knot winds and 60-knot gusts which made a landing impossible until conditions improved. Our patience paid off. We were able to go ashore later in the morning and enjoyed a walk to a king penguin colony and the waterfall.
We were lucky again in the afternoon as the weather conditions allowed for a hike and Zodiac cruising at Elsehul. This bay was named after a sealing captain who probably came to Elsehul in the 1780s. The bay offers a remarkable abundance of wildlife: several species of albatrosses, usually three species of penguins (although we not only enjoyed the presence of king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins, but also two chinstrap individuals that day), fur and elephant seals, and even a leopard seal, sleeping on the beach and thankfully ignoring our Zodiacs.
We were also met archaeologists who were excavating the remains of the former sealing station to retrieve artifacts. Their research is part of a three-year project and is funded by the South Georgia Heritage Trust.
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