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GRYTVIGEN, South Georgia

Penguins, seals, and ruins

sunny 20 °F


South Georgia, a British Overseas Territory since the 18th century, is amazing. We aren't able to anchor on the south side of this small island because it is too wild, but the northeast is sunny and calm. We continue the biosecurity measures: pants washed, boots squirted and scrubbed, hats and gloves checked and vacuumed. Additionally, all the windows and doors on the ship are shrouded at so that the ship's lights will not attract birds to crash into us at night.
After donning our long underwear, outer clothes, waterproofs and parkas, and having life preservers fitted on us by crew, we went to our Zodiacs and headed off to Grytviken, a former Norwegian commercial station where the island's 12 residents now live and work (as scientists and administrators). What an odd vista! On one side are the low buildings currently in use, on the other are the crumbling remains of the whaling facility, defunct since the 1960's. In its 50 years of operation, this facility processed 50,000 whales, harpooning them, chopping them up, boiling them (along with some blubbery seals) and shipping the derived oil all over the world for commercial use in lamps and cosmetics and and and... Fur seals and penguins nest among the rusting tanks; a lovely little Luther church nestles in the midst of it all.
After our visit, the expedition commentator/navigator veered off to another Zodiac waiting to serve us champagne, hot chocolate, or the latter with Kaluha. Given the temp, you can guess what we chose. After this luxurious warm-up, we sailed back to the ship, climbed aboard and returned to relax on the veranda.

Posted by HopeEakins 13:59 Archived in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

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Makes me want to take that trip myself!! Hal B.

by BuckinghamHal

Looks cold, even though it is summer

by Seabury

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