After two days sailing across the South Atlantic, we finally saw land ahead! The first features of South Georgia cut the horizon only to disappear again in the low clouds. Sailing toward our first destination, we passed a steep cliff filled with macaroni penguins and other birds. It was the perfect introduction to our expedition in South Georgia.
Later in the afternoon, we boarded our Zodiacs and explored Elsehul Bay, located on the north coast of the island. As soon as we started scouting these shores, we experienced a burst of life coming from the protected areas. It was a bountiful reward for crossing the seas to reach these coasts.
Many different seabirds nest in the bay, including black-browed albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, and light-mantled albatrosses. On the beaches, we observed large groups of fur seals and some elephant seals hauled out on the litoral. We also saw gentoo penguins and king penguins. They are finishing their breeding season. Some of them are already molting their feathered coat for a new one to protect them until next summer.
On one of these beaches, we could see remnants of try pots, the last vestige of the sealing era that is part of the island’s history. These animals were hunted almost to extinction. Since we have protected them and given nature a chance to recuperate, the seals fill every inch of this territory with life today.
An extraordinary start for our expedition in a unique place in our world: wild South Georgia.