Ocean Harbour Dreaming

15th November 2015. Ocean Harbour, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . (13. Ocean Harbour)).

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

In the afternoon of the 15th we visited Ocean Harbour, which seemed like a different world.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

In the distance is the Great Dancing Hall and Parliament of the Shaker community who settled here many years ago.  You can see some of their surviving sheep in the foreground.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The colony was founded by Ethel Mercaptan, who had become somewhat on the nose to many other members of her community so she led a splinter group to South Georgia.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Her mighty ship, the Wedgetail Beagle, still sits there waiting her command.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Though you can’t see the ghosts, you can see their chains.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The geese she kept to ward off any barbarian invasions of the ship remain on board and have made their nests there.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Meanwhile, the settlers created an abstract tapestry on the side of the ship, intended to depict either the future success of their new colony or their descent into hellfire.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The geese still watch out for potential barbarian invaders.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Unfortunately though, the captain of the ship, one Arbuthnot Queeg, had a secret heated compartment in the hold near the engine room that he had filled with giant pirañas, intending to either sell them in Peking or hold the city to ransom.  The pirañas thwarted this plan when they ate through the hull and caused the ship to sink.  They then perished in the cold waters of the bay.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

This did not stop the colonists from painting an abstract tapestry on the rudder.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

While the geese remain on board, the ship is contemplating turning into land

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

… and eventually into a forest.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Meanwhile the sheep have very little to do and spend their time lounging around, or since there is not much good grass, plunging into the sea to fish.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The giant spinning wheel remains, mute testimony to the plans to found a mighty clothing industry, had they just been more astute and chosen a kind of sheep that has wool.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

So we gaze out across the pasture land to the empty spaces that might have been so much more.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The community itself has faded away as Shaker communities are inclined to do.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Travellers from space visit occasionally though.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

The geese still hang around though there is no longer any crew to sail away in the ship.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

And though the whole community has faded away, …

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

… a couple of chickens still hang around in front of one of the sheep.

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Elephant seals, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Whaling, Wilderness, Wildlife, Wreck

Attention now, this is Mahommed Engels-Trump of the Pedantry Terrorism Squad of MI6.  We have seized this post for dissemination of Fake Nudes (did I get that right?).

The ship is the Bayard, a sailing ship built in Liverpool in 1864 and was here being used as a coaling ship for the whaling station.  It is 67 metres long and weighed 1200 tonnes.  A gale in 1911 blew her across the bay where she sank in three metres of water and remains to this day.  There was probably nothing romantic about the daily activities of the whaling station and the workers would have led hard lives in a spectacular setting and a cruel climate.  MI6 deplores the misrepresentation here of fur seals, South Georgia cormorants and giant petrels.  The “duck” on the water that was not mentioned is maybe a skua.

12 comments on “Ocean Harbour Dreaming

  1. RyanC says:

    Incredible photos!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy says:

    Wonderful photos. South Georgia is on my wish list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert Hayes says:

    Fascinating treatment to the images Murray. And that had to be some good weed you’re smokiing
    The “website” option below will not accept drbobhayes.com as a website

    Liked by 1 person

  4. enmanscamera says:

    Well done. And IR offers such a different visual discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the coloring on these – and especially the abstracts – and your wicked sense of humor!

    Liked by 1 person

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