National Geographic Explorer ventured ever south through the night for today’s activities. Our guests awoke to the gentle rolling of the Southern Ocean as we made our way into Cooper Bay – the southeastern extremity of South Georgia Island. This bay offers some protection from the open ocean swells and winds that the island is famous for. Zodiacs were promptly dropped to explore this bay and the beauty within it.
The various inlets and crevices along the rocky shores of Cooper Bay provided wonderful places to investigate during our Zodiac tours this morning. Giant petrels and brown skuas soared from each side of the bay while one of the rarest pipits in the world, the South Georgia pipit, fluttered by, occasionally singing its high pitched song. The kelp forests here house dozens of Antarctic fur seal pups – some playful and some sleepy. Cooper Bay was a true delight, encapsulating our hearts and minds with the sights and sounds of a truly wild place.
In the early afternoon, the winds picked up as our bridge team navigated into Drygalski Fjord. The relatively narrow channel is a reminder of the power of the glacier that carved it in recent history. Sheer walls with distinctive layers lined the fjord on either side as icebergs and bergy bits gently floated beyond the ship. We got up close and personal views of Risting Glacier at the end of the fjord – a truly majestic landscape.