Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Antarctic Adventure - Day 11
Early in the morning on November 17th the ship sailed into Fortuna Bay where a group of hikers was dropped off to retrace the last leg of Ernest Shackleton's incredible journey across South Georgia Island to reach the Stromness whaling station. After dropping them off, the ship continued on to visit the Stromness station, where the hikers would meet us.
Typical beautiful scenery of South Georgia Island around Fortuna Bay.
Approaching Stromness station on Stromness Bay. This station was a whaling ship maintenance station for whaling operations around South Georgia Island.
Again there were many fur seals along the beach.
During a hike up the river next to the station we saw several groups of King Penguins. Many of these penguins were in the process of molting.
Parts left from the station's working days.
For the afternoon, the ship moved on to the Grytviken station on East Cumberland Bay. Grytviken was a whaling station where whales were brought to remove their blubber and render it for whale oil.
The whaling industry was doomed by its own brutal success. New technology like this harpoon cannon allowed huge numbers of whales to be taken, which decimated the whale populations to the point that whaling was no longer economically viable.
One of the most famous names in Antarctic exploration is Ernest Shackleton. After dying of a heart attack in Grytviken in 1922, he was buried in the whalers' cemetery. Our group gathered there to drink a toast to the "Boss" (as Shackleton's men called him).