SOUTH GEORGIA!!! OMG!!!

on

Itinerary

  • Try not to get too black and blue
  • Arrive at South Georgia and visit Grytviken settlement
  • Prepare for our first pre-Sunrise landing at 5:45 AM (2:45 AM EST now)

Today is the first day the weather has fouled our plans. We were supposed to wake up in a protected South Georgian inlet, but we’re still at sea. During the night, the wind picked up to 45 knots and the seas broke the 20 foot mark. It was the roughest night I’ve come to know in my lifetime. I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep amongst holding on to things to try to stay in bed. I took a full motion sickness pill as a sleep aid, but that only served to make me so groggy I didn’t have any common sense.

Speaking of common sense, I decided to crawl out of bed to take a shower around 5:30 AM (3:30 AM EST then) in 15+ foot seas. I should also mention that the waves were traveling in two different directions (West and North) making for some interesting boat movements as we were on an Easterly heading. I now have some nice bruises down my left side because I went flying out of the shower into the rock-hard sink. I’m amazed I didn’t break a bone!

Dinner actually had a decent turn out last night, but breakfast was rather quiet this morning. Of the 20+ tables, only 3 were being used. It was fun having eggs and watching the waves crash against the windows with continuous snow flying in between the wave crashes. Every once in a while you could see an iceberg over a sip of orange juice. Quite the surreal experience for a beach boy.

South Georgia!!!

Holy fo’ shizzle is this place amazingly GORGEOUS! Out of the clouds and rocking seas came mountains. Beautiful mountains with green at the bottom, snow covered peaks, and blue iceberged feet. Some of these peaks are over 9,000 feet high. These mountains are an incredible backdrop to everything….shoot…the mountains are everything.

It just grows out of the middle of the ocean!
It just grows out of the middle of the ocean!

In the 15 knot arctic winds with 31 degree air and the boat traveling at 13 knots (figure a lot of wind chill to some already chilly temps) I just could not peal myself off the top deck and the view. I watched this scene unfold out of the fog for two hours. This is the most stunning land mother nature has ever created. Beaches, grasses, mountains, icebergs, glaciers, striped rocks, and cloud formations only huge mountains can create is what South Georgia is. It is truly unbelievable by telling and only something one can experience.

NG Endeavour anchored at Gryvitken in King Edward Cove
NG Endeavour anchored at Gryvitken in King Edward Cove

Grytviken was a major whaling station.  I only took this picture in the rusty old whaling station ruins because the place is just depressing....but everything else is beautiful.  Hard to believe the nasty whaling business did its dirty business in a place like this.
Grytviken was a major whaling station. This is the only picture I took in the rusty old whaling station ruins because the place is just depressing....but everything else is beautiful. I spent my time in other areas of Grytviken. Hard to believe the nasty whaling business did its dirty business in a place like this.
This bull Fur Seal charged at us when we got a little too close.  Then he stood proudly to rub his dominance in our faces!
This bull Fur Seal charged at us when we got a little too close. Then he stood proudly to rub his dominance in our faces! Here he is in all his human-dominating glory.

We are now 3 hours ahead of Eastern Time, and I need to wake up before 5:00 AM to be ready to hit the largest King Penguin colony on South Georgia at sun break. We should see over 100,000 nesting pairs of King Penguins mixed in with thousands of Elephant Seals. With the morning sun (pending no clouds) the images should be off the charts!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim Clark says:

    OMG. I can just see the smile on your face as you write. Great stuff Alex!! Hope you arise with a rested heart.

  2. axspot says:

    Sorry about all the funky code that was on this article earlier this morning. I was posting it as we were sailing out of King Edward Cove and hit some rougher seas. We lost our Internet connection.

    Woke up for the 5:45 AM early zodiac to shore at Salisbury Point only to find the waves were too big to land. We’ve upped our schedule to Prion Island where we hope to see Wandering Albatross nesting. Hopefully we can get back to Salisbury Point where over 100,000 King Penguin are and some majestic scenery.

    Kim – good morning. Oh yeah, the smile has been on ever since that mountain crept out of the ocean. Everywhere you look it is a scene like that!

  3. Mom says:

    Wow Alex!
    What wonderous peace and solitude to look at in these angry days we are living. Your postings are the highlights of my day!!
    I can hardly wait to see the penguins!
    Is there any way you can post a shot of you WITH something at some point?
    Would like to see your gear et all…
    The colors and descriptions are super.
    LU-Mom

  4. Cathy says:

    Alex,

    Listen, do not get to banged up before you capture that pennguin for me. Be sure to stuff him in your backpack. Be safe, stay warm, and keep your breakfast down. Keep the awesome photos comming.

    Cathy

  5. axspot says:

    Mom – I have so many photos it is ridiculous. I’ll put a slideshow together we can watch with Gean and EB.

    Tomorrow, I’ll hand my camera to someone to get a photo. It is friggin’ freezin’ so I am definitely in some heavy gear. I think we’ll be in the middle of some penguins tomorrow, so it could be the shot you’re after.

    I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying this blog. I am doing this for you and everyone back home. It is actually turning into an expensive little job trying to stay connected to the Internet at $0.44 per minute. It is all worth it to have at least one person enjoying it…especially you Mom 🙂

    Cathy – you definitely want a Rock Hopper Penguin. They’re my favorite to watch even though the Kings are the best looking. Those Rock Hoppers are tiny – I might be able to squeeze one in my bag. Fur Seals are a lot of fun too, as long as they don’t bite. They’re the dogs of the Antarctic. They play, bark, protect their territory, and have the curiosity of a dog. They’re too much fun!

  6. mom says:

    I am sure it is costing you to continue with this diary…It is all part of your incredible voyage. I believe you are bringing a smile to many. Worth it I would say.

    Yes, I am looking forward to show when you arrive back.
    LU -Mom

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