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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Right Whale Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica, 22 Jan 2008



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20080122 Tuesday Day 7 South Georgia - Right Whale Bay and Elsehul

Again weather was getting colder around 10 degree in the morning. We finally saw land during breakfast. It was raining in the morning. Finally after over 2 days at sea we got to land again. Since it was cold and raining. We put all our water-proof gear on to prepare for the landing. There were huge colonies of fur seals and king penguins on Right Whale Bay, absolutely everywhere. The seals population has both adults and pups and they were very cruious about us. At times, we were being chased by the seals and we couldn't quite tell whether it was an act of aggression or simply their ways of saying hello. Many of the penguins were molting and could look rather ugly. We were amazed by the sheer number of animals on this bay. There were some birds and we even saw a skeleton of a whale scattering on the bay, the vertibrate of the whale made a rather good small bench with flat surface on both ends. Occassionally we spotted some dead seals bodies and the birds were helping themselves to a nice meal. The fur seals also swam around our zodiacs, while they looked clumpsy on land, they were very good and smooth swimmers, they swam along the zodiacs in small groups and in harmonic motions. The rain and the wind made it very difficult to take pictures, my small camera had stopped working after too much water got into the case. Nonetheless we had some nice pictures and movies to remind us how beauitful this place was.

The afternoon session was a ride on the zodiac to see the coastal area called Elsehul where more king penguins, fur seals were found, also spotted some Gentoo penguins and elephant seals. The elephant seals just laid there doing nothing, looked rather lazy!!! But then what would you do if you have almost no predator and food is abandunt. Irene thought the ride would be too cold for her and she opted out. With the experience of the rain this morning, I decided not to take out the camera too often under this kind of weather and thus only took a few pictures, it was hard to take decent pictures against the distance, the wind, the rain, the rocking zodiac and fellow passengers cramped on the same boat.

During the briefing section, Roger the Expedition leader explained about the potential Sheckelton walk on South Georgia, the final march to his rescue in 1916. We might do the final 5km of his walk if weather permits, not an easy trail and Roger was trying to scare some people off just to make sure that only the really fit would join, because there was no turning back and the walk was difficult for some.

The dinner had a Russian Theme and the waitresses all dressed up to the occasion.
We watched a documentary on Antarctica by David Attenbourough produced for National Geographic, great summary of the wild-life in this region.

The Sony camera after much hair-dryer blowing finally sprung back to life. 

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