Friday, February 22, 2013

Prion Island Landing.................


Anchors aweigh again.............later we were 
heading for an afternoon landing on Prion Island, 
just a short sail from Salisbury Plain.


Leaving this magical place was really hard.



Prion Island, South Georgia Island - number 5 on map.


Icebergs along the horizon.



Landing at Prion Island we were immediately able to 
view the Fur seal nursery on the beach - partly 
sunny and a balmy 42F. Walking through so many adults 
with young was not an easy thing.




The hike up to the nesting sites of the large Wandering 
albatross was made easier by the boardwalk. It was constructed 
to protect flora and nesting birds some years before by our
very own Scobie, a member of our expedition team.


Wandering albatross on nest. 


These huge birds have long narrow wings - wingspan reaches 11 feet in adulthood, weight 20 lbs. - are well suited to efficient flight in the open ocean where wind is plentiful and obstacles few. They cover huge distances, one tracked by satellite flew 20,505 miles in 71 days! They breed when 10-12 years of age, usually remaining with the same mate, and their lifespan is 40+ years.


Views across the bay to the surrounding mountains on
the island were very beautiful................


.........and out to sea the icebergs continued to wow us!





The wildlife here was special with so many very young Fur seals.........


....but again it was time to leave and return to the ship 
as afternoon clouds rolled in and the water 
had a good chop starting by 4 PM..................


.........but seemed to calm again once the moon 
appeared and the Antarctic night took on a special 
beauty in the glow......this pic from my cabin 
window at 7:30 PM. Click to enlarge pics in lightbox.

Next time: Excitement brewing on board as we follow 
Sir Ernest Shackleton's journey to Grytviken, first 
shore-based whaling station in the Antarctic, and 
celebrated the amazing Polar expedition he took at 
his grave on South Georgia Island.

This evening I will be snuggled up and watching one of several movies made of Shackleton's journey. This one, a documentary, is titled The Endurance. I have a beastly cold to boot - but perhaps will feel less sorry for myself watching what those men experienced in 1914-16 when prisoners of the Antarctic ice! 


5 comments:

  1. Incredible imagery Mary, the picture of the clouds rolling in as you returned to the boat is just stunning. What an adventure, I am so pleased to be a fly on the wall during your expeditions. Next time you'll have to make room for me to climb in your suitcase.

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  2. Those ice bergs seem to glow on the water. So beautiful. You've had such amazing experiences down in Antarctica. I'm glad you share them with us. Hope you feel better very soon. There's a lot of illness around these days.

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  3. Hope your cold is better in the morning.
    Again magnificent! The icebergs, the little fur babies, the albatross, and the view is all just wonderful.

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  4. Just working my way back and catching up (finally) with your fascinating posts Mary. Your photos are superb and they bring these posts to life for me. Thank you.

    Hope you're better soon.
    Rose H
    xx

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  5. so enjoying this trip with you! Those icebergs are amazing, and I think made more so by how clear the air seems. I remember the albatross soaring high overhead when we sailed in the South Pacific from Cape Town to Uruguay. Were the seals very noisy and aggressive?

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