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