Monday, April 18, 2016

Some Places You Go

 Are you tiring of the South Georgia memories?

Gold Harbour
For all the months when we were slowly getting used to the idea of going to South Georgia, those months when possibility was turning into plan, Elias was bugging us to go to the very south end of the island, where we might, among other delights, have a chance of seeing Weddell seals.

I always assumed there was little chance of us making it there.  I wasn't too sure about the anchorages on the south end.  And the stories that you hear about the weather really are atrocious.

But then we got that ten-day period of settled high pressure right in the middle of our visit.  And suddenly everything was easy.

So, on the day that we pulled into Gold Harbour (above) and I wasn't all that excited for the beach landing, even though it looked doable, I had a great backup plan to offer to the fam.

Why not head all the way down to Drygalski Fjord, at the uttermost southern end of South Georgia, instead?

Cold traveling
Which we did.

Drygalski Fjord
Alisa and I have been to a lot of very wonderful high-latitude places.  But there is very little in our combined experience that could match Drygalksi in terms of a very evocative, I-can't-believe-we're-here beauty, combined with a feeling of extreme remoteness.

It helped very much that there weren't any other vessels around during our visit.


And, in the best tradition of Antarctic wildlife, seeing Weddell Seals was no effort at all.  We saw ten or so of the beasts, scattered about our anchorage in Larsen Harbour.

They're wonderfully fat animals, adapted for a life of deep deep cold.
The southernmost mammal in the world - barring Homo sapiens

Future explorer and present larrikin, Larsen Harbour
The anchorage info that we had warned that Larsen funnels westerly winds to the degree that it can become untenable.  As in, you could get blown out of the anchorage.

Being on a lucky streak, we found a millpond.

Galactic in Larsen Harbour.  Cloudy but dead dead calm

Chinstraps on an iceberg
Antarctic icebergs were grounded all around the mouth of Drygalski, which didn't do anything to take away from the end of the world ambience.


 Some places you go leave you wishing for absolutely nothing more.

With a French accent: "It was my dream!"
As a bonus, we got yet another perfectly calm night at Cobbler's Cove, a somewhat exposed anchorage also on the south end of the island.  That'll be for next time...

12 comments:

  1. Surely the kids would like some warm weather wildlife...Madagascar is just around the corner.
    Drew

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    Replies
    1. The Indian is just around the corner. But we're going up the Atlantic. Mike

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  2. Replies
    1. Was that a double wow?
      Mike

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  3. Not tiring of these pics at all, Mike. I love that Elias is so engaged (and Eric too from the pics). The weather gods obviously were convinced that you deserved this too. - Jon & Barb

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  4. Vilket äventyr ni är ute på och underbara bilder. Pinguinerna var fantastiska att få se och vilka mängder!
    Yvonné

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  5. Definetly will never tire of these! The landscapes are beyond inspiring and then there's the wildlife!

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  6. Are we tiring? Never! Speechlessly beautiful. Thank you.

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