TTT SOS Grytvikken South Georgia

Saturday 19 January


Grytvikken - Old whaling station
Grytvikken – Old whaling station

Museum – This was the manager’s cottage, it even contained the original piano. In the Shackleton room there was a copy of Worsley’s Almanac. Apparently there was even a cinema at Grytvikken and they still have the original movie projector. In another room there was a display of stuffed birds, eggs and whale bones. Samples of penguin skin and seal fur for people to touch. The fur seal skins were particularly soft.

Replica James Caird boat – the one that Shackleton sailed from Elephant Island to South Georgia. Wouldn’t have liked to have been on that boat; six men in a leaky wooden boat for all that time.

Thought I should send some post cards. The queue in the post office was quite long, but the salesperson was doing a sterling job given the demands of some of the customers. Hopefully those cards will have a special stamp on them when they eventually arrive at their final destination

Little church – solid wooden pews, organ, and the story was told that the pastor was only here for 18 months, sent home as he wasn’t earning his keep. Not a lot of customers at the church. Also in the church were some of the original plaques from the cemetery

It had started snowing and it looked picturesque especially with the rusting ruins of the whaling station. This necessitated a quick sprint through whaling station, avoiding seals and wallows on the way to the cemetery.  The elephant seals at the entrance to the cemetery were quite vocal. Shackleton’s grave is quite a grand affair, to its right hand side was the small plaque honouring Wild, Shackleton’s right hand man. Dimitri was there doling out Norwegian Vodka in polystyrene cups as we entered the gate. Good view from up here, but pretty chilly and windy. We made a toast to the Boss with Norwegian vodka before running the gauntlet of the seals yet again. (Ewen was quite adventurous investigating remains of the whaling station) Zodiac back to the boat for yet more food.

Definitely not enough time here

Shackleton walk. There was much discussion before as to how difficult it would be. The thought of clambering down greasy slippery slopes in gum boots was rather off putting. Ewen convinced me otherwise and we set off in a group of about 70 people. The start of the climb out of Fortuna Bay was more slippery than I hoped for. After climbing to the top of the first ridge then the surface became rocky, and we crunched our way through the pieces of slate , careful not to cut the gum boots

The view of the upper lakes with ice ready to collapse into it was quite spectacular. Areas of snow were a little slippery to transverse. We could just hear the boat’s whistle from the top of the mountain. I must admit I was much happier once we made the descent on the gravelly hill. I spent much more time looking at where my feet were than the waterfall. It flowed down to a river that was quite wide and lined with gravel and large stones. (very similar to the rivers in New Zealand.)

John spied a colony of Gentoo penguins on the way back and managed to detour across the vegetation to check them out. They were forming a conga line (or it seemed like one) but really there were three of them chasing the one at the front. It was about 1 km from the beach, which seems like a long way for a penguin to travel on its way in and out of the water .It was a nice flat stroll from here down to the beach to the waiting zodiacs.

I thought the expedition leader Susan was joking when she told us on return from our walk to rug up warmly as dinner was a BBQ on the aft deck.

Captions for gallery to come later

One Reply to “TTT SOS Grytvikken South Georgia”

  1. Dear Jenelle & Ewen,

    This truly has to be the journey of a lifetime – following in the explorers footsteps. We love reading your blogs. The wildlife is amazing. To see so many whales and those big fat seals. You wonder how all those penguins find enough to eat. I was happy to see the albatros. (Made me think of Dad and the Ancient Mariner.)

    Enjoy the rest of the trip. Cant wait to talk to you when you are safely home again.


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