King Haakon Bay is on the north west side of South Georgia Island. It’s famous because this is where Shackleton landed when he ‘escaped’ from Elephant Island to get help for his men. It’s also where a cruise ship touched bottom a few years ago, so our captain wasn’t taking any chances and navigated slowly and carefully into the back of the bay.
South Georgia Island is nothing short of spectacular. How you can really do justice to it with a camera is beyond me - everyone was just left speechless. Towering mountains, covered in the freshest, whitest snow you’ve ever seen, fall directly into a wild, dark and restless ocean. Clouds come and go, shrouding distant peaks one minute, revealing them and a dozen others the next. And it’s cold with a wind that rips through your clothing and chills your bones.
At the end of the bay we could see the deep blues of a glacier meeting the sea, probably one of twenty we saw as we crept into our anchorage.
We left the ship in relatively calm conditions. The sun was shining and the elephant seals were baking. They hardly acknowledged our existence. A small group of King Penguins seemed lost and we were wary of the one or two fur seals which can be very aggressive.
In the afternoon the wind was up and landing at a second location was deemed unwise, so we steamed off toward Salisbury Plains. The seas were a little rough for me that night, but it was a great start to our South Georgia Island circuit.
Sailing close to the coast, it was difficult to capture the atmosphere in a single exposure, so I took several images and stitched them together. The sky was simpy amazing that night.
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