South Georgia: Gold Harbour, Drygaldski Fjord, Coopers Bay
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 02 Dec 2021

South Georgia: Gold Harbour, Drygaldski Fjord, Coopers Bay, 12/2/2021, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

No matter how much you plan, weather, winds, swells and quite many other variables require that your daily schedule is flexible. Sometimes it’s even the amount of fur seals on the beach that are the indicator of whether or not you will be able to land…!

Our day started with an early landing at Gold Harbour, where we waited for the light colors of sunrise. Some clouds prevented us from seeing the orange-pink colors reflected at the glacier. But, on the other hand, dozens of elephant seal pups attacked our landing site, as if someone had released hundreds of crazy puppies that only wanted to sniff, chew, bite, roll over or push any object that they could reach. Those pups were really awake in the early morning!

After our visit to elephant seal pup paradise, we explored Drygalski Fjord. We enjoyed a magnificent Zodiac cruise – sunshine, no wind, beautiful light blue glacial water, ice floating in the fjord, tons of seabirds around, and even some calving events. It couldn’t be better!

In the afternoon, we visited Coopers Bay, but the high amount of fur seals prevented our landing to see the Macaroni penguins. Instead, we decided on option B, a Zodiac cruise. We enjoyed seeing some macaroni penguins from the water, and also have close looks at some fur seal small pups.

Later we sailed north, navigating through the south coast of South Georgia. Clouds of prions fed on the upwellings, together with many other petrel species and dozens of humpback whales.

An incredible day exploring wild South Georgia.

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