Sunday, February 17, 2013

Heading to South Georgia Island..........


January 16-17, 2013 - At Sea on the South Atlantic Ocean.



Leaving the Falkland Islands, above, the last land sighting for the next two days, we headed out to sea again.

Crossing the Southern Ocean we had good visibility although mostly overcast. Our first day the sea was moderate and the air temp. 7C (44F). We noticed the change to cooler weather and required those warm layers, bundling up when stepping out on the windy decks to view whales, dolphins and many seabirds. Second day became rougher and colder. Full days of lectures, briefings, wildlife viewing, and bio-security in preparation for landing on the island (clothing vacuumed to remove any seeds etc. picked up on the Falklands) made the time pass quickly..........and of course eating was squeezed in often, too often! 


South Georgia Island was first discovered in 1675 by a ship carrying London merchant Antoine de la Roche when blown off course while rounding Cape Horn. It took shelter in a large bay, detailed records have been lost. Next sighted in 1756 by a Spanish ship, it was not landed on until 1775 by British explorer Captain James Cook and he 'took possession of the Country in his Majesty's name'. Later, alerted to Cook's reports of huge populations of fur and elephant seals, hunting began. At the start of the 20th century the whalers arrived, establishing shore stations for a second destructive industry: the terrible whaling industry. Thankfully, after its collapse, science became the principal activity, and fishing is now an important industry in the sea around South Georgia.

South Georgia is a jewel to be treasured. It is an extremely beautiful and magical place with its colonies of wildlife being the greatest and most approachable in the world.

Here's a look at what one requires on a journey to the most remote areas of this amazing planet we live on.......and the ship that took me there. Click pics to enlarge.


Warm and waterproof........definitely required for successful and comfortable expedition cruising.


On embarkation day, it was comforting to enter my cabin and find everything waiting to be unpacked and stowed away. I had so much space, thanks to my 'fairy godmother Paula' who treated me to my own suite in celebration of our 'best friends forever anniversary voyage'........50 years and counting!


Sitting room area...........note three huge windows.


Bedroom area with three more windows.......


.....great queen-size bed - and I felt like a queen in 
this suite.


Bathroom was huge for a ship........instructions on the wall 
are for operating the great steam shower.....big enough to 
move about in!





The Polar Bear Bar.......a popular spot for a drink, and one afternoon, when the ship was literally rocking, Captain Gus's tango lessons! Yes, our Argentine captain was a great dance teacher......lessons were auctioned off to raise money for his favorite charity, the Rat Eradication Program on South Georgia Island. 


Game of darts anyone?


Also a spot where the Internet was sometimes 
slightly, as in minutely, more friendly.


Food was excellent onboard..........breakfast and lunch buffet style, dinner table service by a fun and competent wait staff.  Those delightful waiters even picked us up off the floor the night the sea tossed us out of our chairs!


At 2:00 AM on January 17, we crossed The Antarctic Convergence and our early morning wake-up call at 6:30 AM from Susan, expedition leader, welcomed us to Antarctica as we'd passed the geographical boundary of 60 degrees south.

M/S Expedition..............heading toward South Georgia.............a wonderful ship and crew, and an amazing expedition team leading us on the journey of a lifetime.

Next time:  Our arrival at Salisbury Plain......much different from the one in England where Stonehenge is located!


8 comments:

  1. Love all the pictures and especially of the room...what a great ship to sail on but am afraid if the water was so rough it knocked me out of my chair....I wouldn't be eating much.

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  2. I loved every one of your photos and studied each with so much interest. What a wonderful ship. I'd imagine that coming and going from such good accommodation and the great staff made each expedition just a little more fun and a little easier.

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  3. What a marvelous photograph of that ship!
    I know you had an incredible time. We have friends who took that same journey last Christmas and they adored it!
    You are so kind to let us all accompany you just a little through your words and photos.
    Where are we going this year???
    xo,
    p

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  4. Your suite was gorgeous. What a lovely gift from your best friend.
    Your adventure is just wonderful to follow along. Truly an amazing experience.

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  5. What a trip Mary. Love all of your pictures.

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  6. Wow how excting. Fun adventure I am sure. And cold. :) just found your blog recently. Very pretty.



    erika

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  7. Hi Mary,
    I realized I had missed a few posts since I found you when you were blogging about the Falklands..Your descriptions are so wonderful, makes you feel we are right there beside you..The photos of the Penquins are so fabulous and especially the one where the Penquins definitely needs a pedicure..what an wonderful fairy godmother you have..everyone need a friendship like that..xo

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  8. Girl, you really get about don't you! I hope you packed your thermals:)

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