The old whaling station at Grytviken on South Georgia was our first stop on Christmas morning.
After toasting the “Boss” at Ernest Shackleton’s grave in the Grytviken cemetery, many chose to hike to a lake above the old whaling station.
Santa Claus arrived to the Le Boreal in his zodiac, as is the style in South Georgia!
The passengers spent Christmas day with 500,000 King penguins at St. Andrews Bay.
The fluffy brown King Penguin chicks, called Oakum Boys, gather together in a crèche while the adults are at sea feeding.
Grytviken and St Andrews Bay, South Georgia
This special day started with exchanges of Christmas Greetings at an unusually early hour because our landing at Grytviken started at about 0730. Grytviken is the site of an abandoned whaling station and is the 'capital' of South Georgia where the British maintain a small research base and a team of government officials.
It was to be a busy morning. We were free to go ashore when the ship had been cleared by one of the officials and we first gathered at the whalers' cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried. Bob Burton told us about his qualities of leadership and proposed a toast to The Boss, as he was known to his men. Then many of us took a short but steep hike to a viewpoint beside Gull Lake and everyone wandered through the old whaling station to the Post Office and Museum. It was amazing to find such an excellent museum in such a remote place – and to find so many items to buy in its gift shop!
A short service was held at 1045 in the pretty Whalers' Church, a typical Norwegian wooden church built in 1913 and restored 14 years ago. The service was conducted by fellow guest Michele Balitski and was heralded by the ringing of the bells. It started with a Welcome by Government Officer Pat Lurcock. Lessons were read by Tina Dunsford and Jannie Cloete, and Bob Burton gave a short address.