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.

Macaroni Penguins at Cooper Bay

14th November 2015. Cooper Bay, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . (9. Cooper Bay)).

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From Gold Harbour we continued south to Cooper Bay, with a landing for a Macaroni Penguin colony. This was to be our most southern landing in South Georgia.

 

Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Cooper Bay, taken on shore after we had landed.  A wild and beautiful location though it would be not a good place to be shipwrecked.  (Click on the image to see it much larger).

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here is one of the macaroni penguins we came to see.

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

It’s easy to see how they got their name.

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

They are just standing round in tussock and since the tussock tends to be untidy, in what follows I’ve mainly zoomed in for portraits.

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were also a couple of South Georgia Cormorants standing around on a rock.

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… as well as a lone chinstrap penguin.

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Chinstrap penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Godthol

12th November 2015. Godthol, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . (5. Godthol)).

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

From Grytviken, we sailed south along the coast towards a small harbour called Godthol.  The first three images are views of icebergs and the shore along the way.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A recently wounded bull fur seal, encountered just after disembarking from the zodiac.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

It was Spring and at many places along the coast, male fur seals were fiercely defending territory while they awaited the arrival of the females.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is a young fur seal.  You had to be careful walking though the knee-high tussocks by the beach, so as not to stumble into a fur seal.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Not so much of a problem asleep in the open, though.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here Roy Mangersnes is having a close encounter with a female elephant seal.  Elephant seals are not a problem in the same way as fur seals.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gentoo penguin.

Most of our party headed off over the hills seeking nesting birds, possibly albatrosses, I don’t remember.  I stayed at the beach which turned out to be fortunate.  I managed to score a zodiac ride in the bay with just a few others, as the approaching sunset cast a glow in the water, partly reflected off the yellow grasses on the hills.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fur seal and elephant seal.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant seal.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Antarctic tern …

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… diving for small fish (or having just dived in this case).

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant seal.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And this is a South Georgia Cormorant, very similar to the King Cormorants we saw in the Falklands.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I took a whole series of these graceful birds swimming around and diving in the golden water.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Shaking off the water after a dive.  You may need to click to a larger image to see it properly.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife Down we go…

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fur seals.

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Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant seal.

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South Georgia 2

11th to 12th November 2015. Prion Island, Grytviken and Dogthul, South Georgia Island. Temporary post. Images only. Minimal descriptions for images.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Views from Prion Island.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grytviken.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Wounded fur seal, Godthul.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Antarctic Tern.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant Seal.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife South Georgia Cormorant.

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctic Tern, Antarctica, Elephant seals, Fur seal, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, South Georgia Cormorant, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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