Natural Bridge and Coomera Track

24 July to 26 July 2017, Lamington National Park, Queensland
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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

The second day was something of a rest day because we’d found Dave’s Creek Track more arduous than expected, so we went for a drive to Natural Bridge.  This image combines multiple exposures to enhance shadow detail, which you appreciate more if you click on the image to see it larger.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife .

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

A huge log lying in the creek below the natural bridge.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Back in the carpark, this bush turkey was eagerly patrolling in vain expectation of a handout.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Long exposure after sunset on the way back.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

The next day, five of us elected to undertake the 17.5 kilometre Coomera Circuit.  This was to be the highlight of the trip.  This is a section of the Coomera Falls.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Not sure of the name of this waterfall.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Alan below Bahnamboola Falls.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Greg below Bahnamboola Falls.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Another view below Bahnamboola Falls.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Just at the very bottom of Bahnamboola Falls..

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Gwongarragong Falls.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Moolgoolong Cascades.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

A small waterfall above Moolgoolong Cascades.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Funghi on a log on the way back.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Temperate rainforest on the return path.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

The side of a tree on the return path.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

Back Alcheringa, another view from the balcony.  I actually took this to demonstrate panorama processing but it also serves as an illustration of the magnificence in front of you that you may not think to photograph.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife

The next day, returning to the airport, we had some extra time so took a side route and were fortunate enough to see these paragliders just launched at a steep dropoff beside the road in North Tamborine.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bush Turkey, Bushwalking, Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Natural Bridge, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Travel, Wildlife .

Not many or even no posts for a month or so.  I’m off to Tasmania tomorrow and will probably not have internet access most of the time.

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Alcheringa, Dave’s Creek Circuit and Tullawallal Circuit

26 July to 28 July 2017, Lamington National Park, Queensland
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A group of seven of us from the Canberra Photographic Society visited Lamington National Park for a few days of walking in the rainforest.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

This is a view from Rosin’s Lookout on the way in.  Mt Warning is in the middle in the distance (We are looking from Queensland towards New South Wales).  Ship’s Stern is to the right of Mt Warning and Springbrook Plateau to the left, rising towards Best Of All Lookout just left out of picture.  Also, Springbrook National Park is to the left of Mt Warning and Lamington National Park to the right.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

From pretty much the same point, here is a farm far below in the valley.  All sorts of interesting details if you click for a larger view.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

We stayed at Alcheringa, a wonderfully appointed house and cottage with magnificent views, and right next to the main complex of Binna Burra.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

We are looking north but I’m not sure of the name of the mountain.  Maybe Mt Tamborine.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

The last two images were in the evening when we arrived.  This and the next are before dawn on the next day.  All from Alcheringa.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife .

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

The first full day we went for a walk in Dave’s Creek Circuit.  Here are some backlit ferns along the way.

 

Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

From one of the lookouts, a view of a distant cliff in Springbrook National Park.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Looking down from the same lookout on the distant forest.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife .

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

A Xanthorrhea (grass tree) flower head and bare Hakea branches.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

The tip of another Xanthorrhea flower head (complete with bee).

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Trees and cliff faces near Molongolee Cave.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Looking down into the distant valley from Numinbah Lookout.  That’s not a farm below; it must be a hotel, religious retreat or conference centre.  If you click on the image to see it larger there is a man on a horse beside an old wagon.  However, I think it is a statue and not a real horse and rider.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Surprise Rock with tree and xanthorrhea.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Looking up at the tree beside Surprise Rock.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

The next morning, we went a walk to Tullawallal Circuit, where there is an ancient stand of Gondwanaland Beech trees.  This red-necked pademelon was at the top in the undergrowth.  Not the best of shots but taken with a long lens in broken light and what can you do?

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

A branch of a tree fern nearby.

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Australia, Binna Burra, Bruny Island, Bushwalking, Lamington National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

An epiphyte catching the light as it grows out of a Gondwanaland Beech tree.

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Salisbury Plain (Take 3)

17th November 2015. Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . . . (2 and 14 (there should be a 15). Salisbury Plain)).

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

Here we are, back on the beach at Salisbury Plain, in our last landing on South Georgia.  An ever-obliging group of king penguins wanders by.

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

Penguin portrait.

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

Fur seal.

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

Elephant seals.

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

Small squad in military formation.

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

King penguin “porpoising”.

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

A couple of king penguins just thrown up on shore by a wave, though the wave has receded.

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

Eye to eye.

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

Yellow beak.

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

Magenta beak.

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

Fresh out of the water.

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

Looking at the world in a different way.

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

Two’s company.

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Fur seal.

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

A penguin contortionist.

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Gotta get that itch…

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Making the crossing…

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Elephant seal pup.

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Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

At last, a pillow!

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

Snowy sheathbills trying to break into my dry bag under the misapprehension that there might be something to eat in there.

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So, there it is, the end of the journey to South Georgia.  I’ll do some South Georgia monochromes in a while and after that will come Atacama and the the Caribbean. But first, I’m off to Tasmania next week for over a month.  More details of that in the next post….

Rosita Harbour

17th November 2015. Rosita Harbour, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . . (15. Rosita Harbour)).

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

The weather looks fine enough here but it must have been a grey dawn again because we didn’t venture out until after breakfast.  There was a cordon of male fur seals on the edge of the beach, protecting their individual territories so some of the expedition leaders defended a corridor with zodiac paddles to allow us to disembark past the seals.

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

After that, the seals were much more thinly spread.

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

Looking back at the beach, there are quite a few seals and a few humans amongst them.

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

Rather than hang around on the beach and photograph seals, I decided to go for a walk…

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

… up  into the snowy distance.  There are a few people ahead of me at the left though you may need to click for a larger image to see them.

 

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

But I also had another objective.  I was fascinated by the prospect of photographing the forests of South Georgia.  You might think that it’s effectively part of Antarctica, there would just be rocks and snow but there is vegetation as well.  And in some places the forests may reach a centimetre high or more.  No actual trees, mind you.

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

I found the textures on this rock and the living and dead lichen on it particularly fascinating.

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

Perhaps you need to click on an image and see it larger to appreciate, but there is a lot of variety in texture and colours in these images.

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

All of them are focus bracketed.  Macro shots have an extremely shallow depth of field so I have combined many exposures taken at different points of focus to give a better sense of how we would see it.

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

The grasses out of focus in the background give it away but it this a mighty mountain range or some rocks sitting in moss?

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

I was climbing to a ridge and I later saw from some other people’s images that there was a spectacular view there over other bays.  But I didn’t get there.  I had spent too much time on the macro shots, it can be very slow walking through heavy snow, and I had to get back to the beach by a specified time, so I got to the point where I just had to turn back.  This was probably taken at that point.

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

I wasn’t quite as far out of time as I had feared.  I felt relieved when I saw there were still people just ahead of me. If you click on this image, you can see that the two people in the middle left are well before the beach and that on the beach there are numerous seals and at least one person and a zodiac to the right.

 

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

These were taken later, from the ship.

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

We were heading back again to Salisbury Plain, for an afternoon landing, the last of the trip.

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Salisbury Plain (Take 2)

16th November 2015. Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . . . (14. Salisbury Plain)).

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

We had had an unusual run of perfect weather but this was compromised somewhat this day.  It was raining and grey in the early morning so we slept in and ventured ashore after breakfast.  Here is a glimpse of the multitudes on shore.

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

Incredibly, there was a yacht here too.  They must have been very experienced (hopefully not foolhardy) to venture to a zone where the weather can be so wild.

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

King penguins and a fur seal.

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

Male fur seal.  Don’t venture too close.  Though actually, if you keep very low they’re less likely to take offence.

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

King penguin portrait session.

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

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

Perhaps the penguins are from the yacht and have just landed.

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

Most of the king penguins are firmly on land while one gazes out in the distance to the ocean.  Looking for signs of fish?  Orcas?  Leopard seals? Nuclear submarines?

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

The Polar Pioneer in the distance now, rather than the yacht.

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

You can fly, you say?

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

I’m really not convinced.

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

A view of the shoreline with fur seals and king penguins and somewhat dubious weather.

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

A line of king penguins is a little cautious, preparing to walk through the fur seals.

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

Penguins surfing in and walking past a fur seal on the beach.

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

(Anthropomorphic warning):  All dressed up and nowhere to go?

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

Almost got this right but unfortunately, the front penguins are in focus but not the central one at the back.

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

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

This is almost certainly after a territorial conflict with another male fur seal (this one appears to have won).

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

And finally, a trio to bid us farewell for the day.

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After an hour or so, we were reminded where we were.  Katabatic winds sprung up and reached 60 knots off shore.  The zodiacs had taken several groups back but were unable to return for those still on shore.  I had omitted to bring an extra layer of clothing with me and was feeling a touch cold so I lay down in the partial shelter of a ridge of stones created by the tide along an edge of the beach.  Ole Jørgen Liodden was revelling in the deteriorating conditions and photographing returning penguins while in the water himself.  As well as lacking a layer of clothing, I did not have his waders.  Fortunately, after about half an hour, a zodiac was able to head off from the ship in a tangential direction and work its way around the shore to us.

We reconnoitred for a landing at Prince Olav Harbour in the afternoon but weather conditions prevented it.  This was our second to last day on South Georgia.

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.

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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