The last morning in South Georgia led National Geographic Orion to Gold Harbour for an early morning landing. Dawn patrol offers the guests the opportunity to view the incredible swath of wildlife available on this island in the early morning golden light. The natural history staff cruised ashore at 5:00 a.m., set up a landing and prepared for guests. The guests began heading to shore at 5:30 for a pre-breakfast jaunt in the wild. Gold Harbour is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful visitor sites. King penguins, gentoos, elephant seals, and fur seals jostle for space on this extensive beach, ever more beautiful in the morning light. Breeding elephant seals, young pups, and molting penguins are some of the consistent sights here at Gold Harbour. The elephant seals are particularly adorable in their youth with their massive eyes and chubby bodies. Those eyes are ridiculously cute, but also serve an important purpose. Elephant seals are extreme deep divers, able to reach depths of nearly two miles in one single dive. They can hold their breath for an hour and a half (remember, they are air-breathing mammals) by shunting the oxygen into their myoglobin rich muscle. The beautiful big eyes that draw visitors in exhibit tiny pinhole pupils while on land. Deep down in the dark ocean, however, these small pupils expand to take up the entire ocular space. The ability to take in only a tiny amount of light, but in great quantities, allows them to see well enough to hunt their favorite meal of squid at depth.