Sunrise at Gold Harbor occurred at 3:45am right before the first passengers arrived to shore!
Two Southern Elephant Seals spar on the beach at Gold Harbor as a King Penguin strolls by totally disinterested in their dispute.
A Gentoo penguin welcomes us with open flippers to the small Gentoo colony at Gold Harbor!
A few souls braved the icy winds on deck as we sailed up the Drygalski Fjord at the southern end of South Georgia.
The majority of guests watched the beauty of Drygalski Fjord from the comfort of the sixth deck Observation lounge.
Gold Harbour and Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia
Amazingly, the weather was still calm when we dragged ourselves out of bed at 0330 to go ashore at Gold Harbor. This incredibly early start was to have a chance of getting ashore to see the sun rise. We saw gold-edged clouds rather than the full sunrise but the light and atmosphere were wonderful. The beach at Gold Harbour is the home of elephant seals. The really large breeding bulls were feeding at sea but there were many 'smaller' ones dozing on the sand or 'play-fighting' with their companions. Behind the beach there was a small colony of gentoo penguins but the main attraction was yet more stately king penguins. The colony was so arranged that we could approach quite closely to the birds incubating their eggs.
Unfortunately, the wind then got up and our visit to the south-eastern end of the island was curtailed but Captain Lemaire brought Le Boreal a short way into the entrance of stunning Drygalski Fjord. This is a 'Norwegian-style' fjord – narrow with high cliffs and glaciers on each side.
In the afternoon we had a well-earned rest before listening to Charley Wheatley's Introduction to the Whales of the Southern Ocean'.