Our last day in South Georgia started with some spectacular scenery. As the rain gave way to sunshine, we all jumped into Zodiacs to explore Hercules Bay, named for a whaling vessel from the 1900s. The bay was lined with incredible geology. Waterfalls flowed from the mountainous plateau to the single beach below, which was lined with gentoo penguins, southern elephant seals, and Antarctic fur seals. The shoreline was populated with South Georgia pipits, but the most amazing wildlife was by far the macaroni penguins that made their way down to the shoreline from their colony. Giant petrels patrolled the entry point, waiting for the penguins to enter the water to pounce.

In the afternoon we completed the last section of the Shackleton hike, through the glacial basin to Stromness whaling station. Rain whipped around us along with the plaintive cries of Antarctic fur seals. We left South Georgia wet, windblown, and happy.