High winds and swell marked the early morning of our journey along the northern coasts of South Georgia. We spent a few hours looking into different options to continue exploring this unique island in the Southern Ocean. A slight change in the predicted direction of the swell forced us to change direction and look for shelter. Experiencing the force of the weather gave us a first-hand insight into the unforgiving conditions of this particular part of the world and increased the sense of adventure unique to our expeditions. While we made our way, we could observe a number of graceful seabirds in their element, skillfully gliding with the wind and over the high waves.
By mid-morning, we all gathered in the lounge to listen to Naturalist Carl-Erik give us a first-hand account of the project of eradication of reindeer in South Georgia. It was an insightful talk given by one of the most important figures in the whole project that generated a very positive impact in the conservation of South Georgia’s natural habitat.
After lunch, we entered Grytviken which provided us with a respite from the weather. We sailed passed the graveyard where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final resting place is marked with a stone pillar. This provided us with the opportunity to share a dram of whisky and toast to his life’s achievements and legacy. As we approached the historic settlement, we witnessed the remnants of the first whaling station established in South Georgia at the beginning of the 20th century, with many structures and buildings still standing. The Zodiacs of National Geographic Explorer were lowered onto the water so we could take a closer look at the place and the wildlife that nowadays thrive in the area. The wind picked up again just in time for us to return to the ship and start our departure from South Georgia towards the Falkland Islands.