St Andrew’s Bay (Take 2)

15th November 2015. St Andrew’s Bay, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . (12. St Andrew’s Bay)).

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chorus line passing the elephant seal.

Another landing before dawn, to St Andrew’s Bay again, that we had visited three days before.  This time I managed to get onshore well before the dawn.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dramatic pre-dawn cloud on a remote beach on a fine morning.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The sun has risen on the mountains but not where we are, down near the beach.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A bull elephant seal rises up and roars as the sun peeks over the headland.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another bull elephant seal crtawls into view in the foreground.  Close inspection reveals the scars of battle.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Vista up the river.  Elephant seals in the foreground, king penguins along the river, glacier in the distance.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

One of the elephant seals is now catching the morning light.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A bull roars…

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Further on, the sides of the glacial river are packed with penguins.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

All are king penguins.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A view of a wildlife metropolis, with conga lines going out to the sea for fishing. Perhaps they think there is safety in numbers, because there could be leopard seals or orcas lurking.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now what do you think this is?  Donald Trump on the wall of his building perhaps?

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Not drowning, waving…

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A whole city of infant king penguins in front of the mountains and glacier and a kelp gull flying overhead.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

More the adults visible here.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Once again, the vast throngs on the banks of the river and further inland.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife A reindeer antler lying on the beach.

Reindeer were introduced in the early 20th century to provide a food resource for the whalers.  Numbers greatly increased after the whalers left and it was deemed that they were causing to much damage to the fragile ecosystem.  Consequently they have all been killed, though some calves were previously relocated to the Falkland Islands.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Trudging across the river…

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Down now at the edge of the sea, there were many king penguins swimming around in dense rafts, perhaps hunting shoals of fish.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

…And some emerge from the water.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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The Chinstrap Iceberg

14th November 2015. Far south end of South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . . (11. Icebergs)).

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An hour after sailing around the Acropolis iceberg, we encountered an iceberg with siz chinstrap penguins along for the ride.  There are two of them here, and six snow petrels in the background.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here are the other four, not far from the first two.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And from another angle, as the ship sails by.

Frank Zappa warned “Don’t you eat the yellow snow” (Apostrophe, 1972), though here it’s ice and there are no huskies (or eskimos) to be seen.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Snow petrels and chinstrap penguins.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here the are from a bit further back.  Hard to tell whether this is the bow or the stern of their ship.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An overall view from the back.  So no penguins visible now.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Its shape looks quite different from different angles.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here they are again.  After they calve from an ice shelf, icebergs can melt in the sun, become unstable and turn over.  You don’t want to go too close to an iceberg because you never know when that will happen (though the penguins probably don’t greatly care).  That diagonal; grey strip is probably a previous water line.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here they are again.  They’ve shuffled their order since first encountered.

 

Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Maybe the two on top have moved.

Blue lines on icebergs can be caused by fresh water that is quickly frozen.  The brown lines.are probably from a layer of dust, perhaps when the ice was part of a glacier.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Those two penguins are certainly well away from the waves.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here are some cape petrels beside the iceberg.  Perhaps looking for some fish thrown up in the turbulence.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

All six of them in the one image.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And they’re not as close together as they seemed in the preceding image.

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cape Petrel, Chinstrap penguins, Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Those big diagonal bands could be relics of rolling events.

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The Acropolis Iceberg

14th November 2015. Far south end of South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . (11. Icebergs)).

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

From Cooper Bay, we continued on towards Drygalski Fjord, near the southernmost point of South Georgia.  The clear weather of Cooper Bay continued, at least for a while.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

I thought we turned back from Drygaslski Fjord because of weather conditions but other accounts indicate we decided to study some icebergs instead.  In any event, we turned around and returned along the north-east coast the way we had come.  You might think it would be desirable to circumnavigate the island but the south-west coast offers no protection for the ship from the frequent storms so in the interests of safety we did not venture that way.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Visibility was starting to decrease.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

The majestic mountains of South Georgia are retreating into the mist and fog.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

The varied shapes of several icebergs provide a contrast with the murky mountain background.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Not a place out there where you’re likely to meet many people.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Our first glimpse of part of the Acropolis Iceberg.  I’ll explain why I call it that soon.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Another iceberg nearby.  These are all massive blocks of ice.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Long and low and in front of the coast.  Most of it is of course under water.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

I’ll name this one soon for its appearance from another angle.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Back with the Acropolis iceberg.  It is late afternoon, nearing sunset.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

Acropolis iceberg in the front (we’ve only seen a small part of it previously) and the Sphinx iceberg in the distance (as seen previously from a different angle).

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

This is why I call it the Acropolis iceberg.  the face of the big foreground block is like a frieze from the Parthenon.  Carved by penguins perhaps.  Click on the image to see greater detail.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

A view from round the corner.  The frieze is now facing out to the left.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

So is it the Acropolis or perhaps the Parthenon or maybe the British Museum where Elgin lost his marbles?

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

A section from the massive side.  The penguins have only just started carving out a frieze here.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

The sea breaking against the iceberg and the background is clearing a bit.  You can see the smooth band at the bottom of the visible part of the iceberg where it rides up and down against the sea.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

A convoy of icebergs including the Sphinx in the middle and the Acropolis at the right.

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Drygalski Fjord, Icebergs, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness

A last glimpse of the Acropolis.

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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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Gold Harbour

14th November 2015. Gold Harbour, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . (8. Gold Harbour)).

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

The next morning we landed at Gold Harbour, another wildlife hotspot.  Here is a group of penguins wandering down the beach in the dawn light.  As I was in one of the last zodiacs I only caught the last of that light.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Behind the parade of penguins is our ship, out on the horizon.  Near it, improbably is a yacht.  It must take an adventurous person to sail to South Georgia in a fairly small yacht.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A huddle of king penguins, parading along the beach.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I think this is a small river, rather than a lagoon.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

King penguins and elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A giant petrel on a nest, taking advantage of a rare patch of shelter.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

King penguin chicks in front of a colony.  It is raining and some rain has gotten on the lens.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lots of chicks now.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Captions seem redundant for many of these images.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An elephant seal in front of a king penguin colony.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a skua in left centre, on the lookout for a meal such as a dead chick.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A skua again, walking around the elephant seal.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of penguins preparing to prostrate themselves.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Definitely a demigod to worship here.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Hold on a second.  Maybe not.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A farewell party not long before we left for the ship.

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Moltke Harbour

13th November 2015. Moltke Harbour, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . (7. Moltke Harbour)).

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here we are heading from St Andrews Bay towards Moltke Harbour.  This is taken from the Bridge and the window is covered in water (as you can see if you look closely or click for a larger image).  This means that in the open ocean, waves have been breaking over the bow onto that window.  We are now in a sheltered sea, though.

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This image and the following seven show the majestic power of the wild South Georgia landscape, the high jagged mountains covered with snow rising up out of the sea, the banks of fog and cloud, and the mist rising from the sea.

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now we have landed.  We are onshore at Moltke Harbour.

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I went for a long walk up the valley towards the hills.

 

Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were a group of king penguins beside the river on the way back.

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby there were three fur seals, perhaps two females and a pup, amusing themselves in the shallows of the river.

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I am on my way back with a view of the beach. There are many people and zodiacs at the left hand end of the beach, though also a few people at the mouth of the river.  one zodiac is heading back towards the ship.  It looks like I have enough time to get back.  Click the image if you want to see more detail.

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St Andrews Bay (Take 1)

12th November 2015. St Andrews Bay, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . (6. St Andrews Bay)).

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our next stop sailing down the coast of South Georgia was St Andrews Bay, where we would return some days later.  We all got up well before dawn and piled into the zodiacs for the landing but I was in one of the last zodiacs so arrived just for the last of the dawn colours.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wildlife in this post is almost entirely king penguins and elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And sometimes some humans.  The elephant seal pups can be very friendly.  They start off about 80 kilos but they are quite harmless because they don’t yet have teeth.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Three king penguins in front of a varied vista in the early morning.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The one in front probably knows where they’re going….

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nothing like a nice comfortable place to sleep in the early morning sun.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Penguin city.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Threading past the elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of youngsters having fun.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This bull elephant seal wants to be taken a bit more seriously though.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Threading past the seals at the edge of the waves….

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The upside-down face of the elephant seal at top left looks almost like the face of some strange Japanese toy (if you imagine it as being the right way around).

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

One group going in; another swimming past.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I’d walked for a long while along the beach and past a small river to get to a raised viewpoint for this view.  It gives you some understanding of the amazing profusion of wildlife there.  I probably would have preferred it without the photographer but I’m not going to try to get rid of him.  The bird coming towards us at the edge of the sea is probably a skua. Click the image if you want a larger view.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Promenading at the water’s edge.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a lot of noise going on in these colonies and a lot of calling.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Taken out of context, this image would become almost abstract.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Quite crowded in places.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

That’s a snowy sheathbill in front.  Not the most attractive of birds if viewed close up but surviving here well enough.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I had left my camera bag on the beach while taking off with a few cameras and lenses.  I returned to find it was being guarded.  And he wasn’t too happy about giving up his nice comfortable pillow.