23rd March: Antarctica (Great Wall Station, King George Island)

Great Wall Station

Early in the morning we had reached the Chinese Great Wall station near the southern end of King George Island.

Inside the Great Wall Station

At about 8:30am we jumped into the zodiacs for a cruise around and a visit to the Chinese station.

Gentoo Penguins and mountains near Great Wall Station, King George Island

There were lots of gentoo penguins standing around on the shore, many moulting, the odd cormorant and a few skuas.

The return trip was rather eventful. The engine repeatedly failed on our zodiac. We eventually got back to the ship and one person disembarked before the zodiac was swept away again. They decided to hoist the zodiac on board but we were too heavy for that so we had to transfer to another zodiac at sea. This was not made easier by having to carry my heavy photographic pack inside a water proof bag. I quickly worked out that trying to straddle two zodiacs in the surging sea was not a viable option so I dived from one to the other when they were together. It all worked well enough in the end.

12 comments on “23rd March: Antarctica (Great Wall Station, King George Island)

  1. Derek Lark says:

    Wow, I am in Washington enjoying the sights of DC but that makes my trip simply mundane!

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  2. […] March 23 to 29:  Antarctic Peninsula […]

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  3. […] 23rd March: Antarctica (Great Wall Station, King George Island) […]

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  4. […] 23rd March: Antarctica (Great Wall Station, King George Island) […]

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  5. Carol says:

    Hi Murray – as usual, great photos. Only comment “Some” of us may have “jumped” into the zodiacs – some of us “others” HAD to take our time or deal with live burial at sea!!!

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  6. Murray Foote says:

    Hi Carol and thanks.

    I didn’t find getting into the zodiacs that bad. Getting out of them back onto the ship with 15kg of camera equipment awkwardly strung over my back when the sea had come up and the zodiac was rising and falling maybe two metres, that was the challenge for me. And when on this day I had to do the zodiac to zodiac transfer, had I gone through with a slow straddle transfer weighed down as I was, the zodiacs could have diverged and that really would have been risking live burial at sea!

    At one point later in the trip, Gary suggested I leave my pack in the zodiac and get it after the zodiac was on board. Reimbarking became much easier when I realised that was an option.

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  7. some blog you have here – I will have to have a real dig around when I have some time to full appreciate it.

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  8. Thanks, Murray. Good point on the issue of getting off the Zodiacs. I’ll bear that in mind.

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    • Murray Foote says:

      You’re unlikely to have to transfer from one zodiac to another at sea but the transfer from the zodiac to the ship’s ladder can sometimes be a touch hairy, especially when you have heavy camera equipment. … Which is why if you take a full kit it helps to have a dry bag with a harness that you can fit your camera bag inside..

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