It's storming on South Georgia Island today. The Sea Explorer is tossing and turning in large ocean swells. Our normal itinerary for today has gone out the window. The group leader of our trip is in consultation with the captain of the ship in an attempt to develop an alternative plan. A decision is made to enter the Drygalski Fjord on the southern part of the island. None of the staff has ever been to this bay before. We are told to remember, "flexibility is the key."
Several times on our trip down the eastern side of South Georgia Island, the weather has become an issue. Today we were supposed to make landfall on Cooper Bay. With the wind kicking up and large waves rocking the Sea Explorer, this destination is cancelled for now. I guess I will get further along in my novel, waiting for an improvement in the ambient conditions.
This afternoon we are fortunate enough to visit Grytviken on a sunny day. Under blue skies with relatively warm temperatures, landfall is made. This allows us to pay a call to the cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried, hike up a mountain trail with vistas of the bay, and tour the remnants of this whaling town.
Overnight, the Sea Explorer has made its way to the north coast of South Georgia, just south of Mount Skittle, where St. Andrew's Bay becomes visible. The ship anchors at a comfortable distance from shore, and I can see hordes of king penguins interspersed with elephant seals. What a scene—I'm excited!
It is morning aboard the Sea Explorer. Looking out of the porthole in my room, rough seas and storming skies stare me in the face. We are supposed to make landings on Fortuna Bay and Stromness on South Georgia Island today, but from what I can tell, I'll be reading my book, working on my pictures and attending lectures instead.
I'm back on the Sea Explorer after having toured Prion Islet. My normal modus operandi has been to download my photos from a shoot, start editing them and then lie down for a while before dinner. On this day, however, the normal schedule is not going to happen. The weather has improved, and now a landing on Salisbury Plain appears feasible. I'm told that we will be having an early dinner, hopping on our zodiacs and motoring to this site, one of the highlights of our trip thus far.
We have just spent 2 days at sea navigating from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. I'm starting to think that maybe I should accept the dry mouth you get from a scopolamine patch in return for less nausea. It is OK though. I've survived, and now it is time to take in one of the highlights of all my world travels, South Georgia Island.