|This group of Elephant Seals found comfort in sleeping together in a ditch.|
The world…it baffles, it tantalizes, it enlightens and it surprises in one way or another almost every day. It spares nothing in attempting to capture our attention while we, in our amateurish or professional manner, attempt to capture it in photos, in hopes of retaining memories to last a lifetime.
|Some of the King Penguins were molting while others were not.|
|We walked along this beach in the rain to the small settlement ahead.|
|Tom, with an iceberg in the background.|
|The younger seals seem eager to pose for a photo but the older males chase after us, prepared to attack if necessary. We had to scare a few off by clapping our hands and yelling.|
Above all, standing on the very ground where so much is happening takes our breath away as we live in the magic of the moment, anticipating nothing more than what is before our eyes. With heart pounding enthusiasm, we embrace every moment, later reviewing our photos, hoping to find those special captures that truly tell the story of our current experiences.
|A young seal sleeping atop a plant with a grouping of Elephant Seals in the background.|
|A lone Fur Seal posing for a photo.
Instead, the captain decided we’d sail directly to the Antarctic Peninsula where we’ll spend the next several days, finally amid the massive icy environment we’ve so longed to see. As a result, we’re at sea today.
|She was so relaxed, a bit of drool dripped from her mouth. A bath would be nice.|
|This is the first of a few icebergs we spotted in Grytviken and the first so far on the cruise. Guaranteed, more will follow.
Evidence of this travesty is easily evidenced in this small settlement with the remnants of the storage tanks and processing machines and equipment. Among the ruins were multiple shipwrecks photos of which we’ve included here today.
There remains a small group of 10 to 20 people that occupy the location during the summer months, (less in the winter months) to facilitate ship passengers stopping to inspect the settlement.
There’s a shop, a church, a post office and a few museums, all of which we visited during our few hours at the location. It was interesting and quite unusual, especially the many Fur Seals and Elephant Seals that live amongst the ruins of a business long ago abandoned.
Here is information about Grytviken, South Georgia Island from this site:
|Her companion is fanning her with widespread fins and tail.|
The settlement at Grytviken was established on 16 November 1904 by the Norwegian sea captain Carl Anton Larsen, as a whaling station for his Compañía Argentina de Pesca (Argentine Fishing Company). It was phenomenally successful, with 195 whales taken in the first season alone. The whalers used every part of the animals – the blubber, meat, bones, and viscera were rendered to extract the oil, and the bones and meat were turned into fertilizer and fodder. Elephant seals were also hunted for their blubber.
Around 300 men worked at the station during its heyday, operating during the southern summer from October to March. A few remained over the winter to maintain the boats and factory. Every few months a transport ship would bring essential supplies to the station and take away the oil and other produce. The following year the Argentine Government established a meteorological station.
|An adorable seal climbed a wall to see what the commotion was all about.|
|The first iceberg we’d seen since leaving Ushuaia a week ago today. More will surely follow as we head to the Antarctica Peninsula.|
|Me, with an iceberg in the background.|
|A big male Fur Seal and perhaps his offspring who he was training to be growly at visitors.|
|An iceberg with our ship in the background.|
He again returned to Grytviken, but posthumously. In 1922 he had died unexpectedly from a heart attack at the beginning of another Antarctic expedition. His widow chose South Georgia as his final resting place. His grave is located south of Grytviken, alongside those of whalers who had died on the island.
|A whaling boat shipwreck.|
Update on my knee: It’s certainly not 100% yet. Visited the doctor a second time for another round of a different antibiotic and more anti-inflammatory meds. Its improving, albeit slowly.
|Another sad reminder that life for wildlife is not easy.|
I can’t wait for this to be healed so I can stop thinking about it and, good grief, have a glass of wine! But, I’ve only missed one outing (out of many more) which required a five km walk and Tom went ahead without me taking amazing photos.
As for today, right now I’m in the lounge on deck three while Tom is taking a much-needed nap. It’s nearly 3:00 pm. Since we’re at sea today, little is required other than to enjoy our new friends which is relatively easy to do in this beautiful environment.
|The small Lutheran church in Grytviken, South Georgia.|
Update on the pending rough seas: The captain made a good decision when we forfeited two planned landings to instead sail directly to Elephant Island which we should reach sometime tomorrow. The seas are rough and walking around the ship requires some holding on to one another, to walls, and to railings.
But, in our usual way, neither of us are seasick but we suspect that some passengers may be feeling it when I’m only one of about eight passengers in the usually packed deck three lounge. Due to the weakening Wi-Fi signal, I’m unable to enlarge a number of our photos to the size we always post.
|Whaling oil processing equipment.|
Have a great day! And again, no worries, if we aren’t here over the next few days. It’s highly likely we won’t have a signal, the further south we sail.
|Wood handled tools for the “”barbie” we spotted at an outdoor flea market in Franklin, Tasmania. For more photos, please click here.|