Many beautiful King Penguins at Salisbury Plain
Kings in the surf
Challenging conditions at the landing!
We cruise Right Whale Bay due to the number of fur seals
Christmas carols in the lounge
Le Boreal - December 24, 2011
Salisbury Plain/Elsehul, South Georgia
Temperature: 36.5˚F (2.5˚C)
Wind speed: 10 knots
Cloud cover: 90%
Like an oasis in the desert, South Georgia began to rise from the depths of the ocean as Le Boreal made its approach. What started as a tiny speck on the horizon soon became a mountain range covered in glaciers, like it had been sliced out of the Alps and dropped in the sea.
By the time we were sitting down for our breakfast Captain Marchesseau had drooped anchor just off of our mornings destination, Salisbury Plain. A King Penguin colony said to be 60, 000 plus breeding pairs strong, and from this vantage point, possibly as many Fur Seals! By 0630 the Expedition Team had the zodiacs in the water and were headed to shore in preparation for our morning.
Nothing could have properly prepared us for what we found once ashore. As far as the eye could see in either direction along the beach Fur Seals and King penguins mingled, while Skuas and Giant Petrels harassed everything in sight. Not to mention the smells and orchestra of sounds coming from the thousands of King Penguins!
With our afternoons plans at Elsehul cancelled do to wind and swell our Expedition Leader Larry Hobbs made some quick decisions and had us steaming quickly towards Right Whale Bay. Here we enjoyed a zodiac tour in what could only be described as Fur Seal soup! Everywhere you turned they were leaping from the water while the beach was black with them.
Before dinner we joined the Expedition Team in The Grand Salon for some Carols and festive cheer. It had been another wonderful day here onboard Le Boreal in South Georgia.