On this foggy, rainy, and quite breezy morning (to put it mildly!) we arrived into Elshul at the very northwestern tip of South Georgia. Elshul (Norwegian for Else Cove) dates to 1905, when the first whalers re-discovered the bay; it is first thought to have been found in the 1780s by an early sealing captain, who it was initially named after, Paddock Cove!
Through the fog, the rain, and the abundance of sea spray, we were treated to glimpses of grey-headed albatrosses nesting up high on the steep tussock covered slopes, and black-browed albatrosses gliding effortlessly though the strengthening winds entering the bay. Other birds included the king penguins, gentoos, brown skuas, giant petrels, snowy sheathbills and Antarctic prions, a paradise for us birders. Don’t forget about the amazing kelp forests right below our Zodiacs; this mysterious world will always let our imaginations run wild.
Cruising past the shoreline, the more eagle-eyed of us discovered a stunning blonde adult male fur seal, the first we have seen on our adventures. It’s true when they say ‘always expect the unexpected,’ and this is especially correct when travelling into wild and remote places just like South Georgia.
The remainder of our day was spent at sea with presentations by Emily Newton on the fisheries of South Georgia; David Cothran on South Georgia’s fascinating geological history; and Steve Morello with photography at home.