Christmas morning with Kings at St Andrews Bay
Back to the ship after a wonderful visit
Santa arrives at the ship!
A visit to the South Georgia Museum
Three adorable Fur Seal pups at the landing
Le Boreal - December 25, 2011
St. Andrew's Bay/Grytviken, South Georgia
Temperature: 37.4˚F (3˚C)
Wind speed: 10 knots
Cloud cover: 30%
Precipitation: scattered sprinkles
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And what a Christmas it has been. Originally the thought of a second day in a row starting so early had us mumbling under our breath but when we got up to calm seas and bright sun we were pleased.
By the time we made it to shore life didn't seem like there was a chance it could get any better than this moment. There, sprawling across the beach and the surrounding slopes, like an invading army there were 150, 000 to 200,000 pairs of breeding King Penguins. Not to mention the chicks and non-breeders. It took your breath away.
This afternoon we arrived at Grytviken. Opened in 1904 by Norwegian, Carl Anton Larsen, it was the first shore-based station in the Antarctic. But of more note it is also the resting place of 'The Boss', Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Taking advantage of the old Whalers church still standing here in Grytviken we filled it to the point of bursting for a non-denominational Christmas service. For many it was the pinnacle of what had amounted to one of the most amazing Christmas days we had experienced.
Returning to Le Boreal we knew we needed to eat and get to bed as soon as possible. Sunrise over Gold Harbor comes very early at this latitude.