Elephant Seal, South Georgia

On Location: Crossing the South Scotia Sea

Zegrahm Contributor|October 31, 2011|Blog Post

The open ocean transit across the Scotia Sea from the Falklands is 700 nautical miles; as we crossed the waters, the Sea Spirit was escorted by hundreds of seabirds, including albatross, petrels, and prions among others. Our first two days at South Georgia have been blessed with great weather and abundant wildlife. The first landing at Elsehul was surreal—elephant seals with their new born pups; gentoo penguins that had just begun to nest; and light mantled sooty albatross were showing off their aerial courtship. At Prion Island we observed an adult male wandering albatross feeding its chick, and everyone had the chance to see one of the few land birds known to the island—the South Georgia Pipit.

This morning the ship was at anchor in Fortuna Bay; after a savory barbeque lunch on deck, some of us followed the footsteps of Shackleton, where in 1916 he completed the last leg of his harrowing travels over the island. The sky is blue and the glacier at the head of the embayment glistens in the morning sun. Tens of thousands of king penguins nest here and the cacophony of mating dances is awe inspiring.

The energy level onboard is high, the spirit of adventure and camaraderie exciting. A celebration of 21 years since the origin of Zegrahm Expeditions.

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