Today was our last day to experience the wilderness of South Georgia. Tucked away into a small cove at the northern tip of the island, the National Geographic Endurance was surrounded by a sampling of almost every species we had seen over the last week. Nesting albatrosses tucked away in the tussock grass eyed Zodiacs passing by, and thousands of macaroni penguins called out to each other and at passing skuas warning them away from their precious eggs. On the beaches, hundreds of Antarctic fur seals eyed us warily as we watched them battle for small parcels of territory on the cobbled shore; female fur seals fought the males off with even more vigor than other males – likely just wanting a moment’s rest with their newborn pups before the males claimed their rights over their harems. As the Endurance pulled anchor and started making her way north, she made one last stop to bow into a cove of Trinity Island. Here, thousands of macaroni penguins made a colony, and one hundred years ago, a small colony of fur seals survived the slaughter of the fur trade to repopulate the entire Southern Ocean.
National Geographic Explorer
On this busy day at sea, we are busy packing, attending interesting talks, getting important information about disembarkation, and having wonderful meals. At teatime, there are Swedish pancakes, berries, chocolate, ice cream, whipped cream and more! Soon, it’s time to dress up for the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party, where we reflect on our amazing experiences over the past twenty days. There was the Drake Passage, Antarctica, South Orkney Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Falkland Islands. So much history and wildlife. At dinner, oh my gosh, give me everything, especially the soup made from wild Falkland celery! The sea is calm, and the sun has come out as we head to Ushuaia, where our journey began. Yes, we are more than what we were before. We have grown and what a pleasure it is.