Elephant Seal hosts greet us at Gold Harbor
Snowy Sheathbills come to check out the zodiacs
Our Captain guides us safely through a low pressure system
We finally have a chance to check through the ship’s photo collection
Le Boreal - December 26, 2011
Gold Harbor/Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia
Temperature: 35˚F (1.6˚C)
Wind speed: 4 knots
Cloud cover: 100%
Precipitation: Wet snow
Although we had been briefed yesterday on what time we would be heading to shore this morning at Gold Harbor, and had gone to bed in plenty of time to compensate, it seemed our wake up call came to soon. Larry woke us up at 0330.
The plan was to enjoy a beautiful sunrise as it lit up the glacier covered mountains and King Penguin colony at Gold Harbor. As it turned out, when we woke up the wind was gusting to 40 knots and there was a low-lying blanket of cloud. Not to mention the blinding snow blowing horizontally past our windows. However, as Le Boreal altered its course towards its anchorage position, the winds subsided and the seas calmed.
Through the heavy snow we headed to shore, the noise of the Elephant Seals rising above the zodiac engine as we approached. Once again, as far as the eye could see along the beach King Penguins, Elephant Seals and Fur Seals mingled. The sights and sounds bombarded our senses; it was even hard to hear each other over the chatter of the beach. Almost like a signal of our time at Gold Harbor coming to an end the winds picked up to what we were later told was 60 knots.
Although we had planned to sail into Drygalski Fjord before our departure from South Georgia the gusting winds had whipped the seas into swells reaching 6 meters making it impossible. With this Captain Marchesseau turned Le Boreal away from land. The time had come to say goodbye to this wonderful place.