For the early risers among us, the day began moments before sunrise. Having transited to Gold Harbor overnight we made an early morning landing and were greeted by the sight of the second largest king penguin colony on South Georgia. With the golden colors lighting up the sky, we awaited sunrise and took the opportunity to capture many photos of the penguins lining up along the beach. But we can’t forget the highlight for many: the weaner elephant seals. Guests fell in love with their large glossy eyes reflecting the colors of the sunrise.
After returning to the ship for breakfast, we landed again on Gold Harbor. There was an opportunity to participate in a long hike with a great view looking down over the harbor. In addition to numerous king penguins, the southern elephant seals were also stars of the show. We witnessed territorial battles as males competed for the “beach master” position in order to reproduce with the females. The great weather conditions resulted in a spectacular backdrop while photographing the king penguin colony.
Fully refueled with lunch, we transited northwest to St Andrews Bay. On the way, some of us were lucky to see humpback whales passing by in the distance. Arriving in the bay to perfect blue skies and calm winds, we made our way up to the vantage point to observe the 150,000 breeding pairs of king penguins, the largest colony of king penguins on South Georgia. The land was carpeted with the black, white, and orange colors of the adults, along with the fluffy brown (“Oakham boys”) king penguin chicks.