- A trip to the end of the earth – Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica–Explorers & Kings
- Ushuaia–Fin del Mundo
- Ushuaia–Day 2
- Waiting for my ship to come in…
- Come sail away…
- Day #1 & 2 – En route to the Falklands
- Day #3 – West Point Island & Saunders Island, The Falklands
- Day # 4 – Stanley–more British than Britain
- Day # 7 – Right Whale Bay & Salisbury Plain–Kings, kings & more kings
- Day #8 – In the footsteps of Shackleton
- Day #9 – Elephants & Kings – St. Andrew’s Bay & Gold Harbour
- Day #10 – Cooper Bay & Drygalski Fjord
- Day #13 – Elephant Island
- Day #14 – Setting foot on Antarctica
- Day #15 – Whales, whales and more whales – a “Tail” of a perfect day
- Day # 16 – Deception Island & Half Moon Bay
- Day 19 & 20 – Buenos Aires
- Antarctica Photo Gallery
In preparation for our arrival in South Georgia we were required to attend a mandatory briefing. South Georgia is an island and they do not want any alien species; as such we were required to perform biosecurity procedures, basically making sure that all our outerwear was free of organic materials, before landing and we had to sign a document attesting to this.
After 2 very busy and somewhat rough days at sea, we awoke to a South Georgia morning, complete with thick fog and heavy swells. We were supposed to land at Elsehul but the swells were too large to safely load the zodiacs, so instead we headed to Right Whale Bay. Along the way we had the pleasure of seeing some King penguins swimming and porpoising alongside the ship.
Our first glimpse of Right Whale Bay. The white specs are king penguins, the brown specs among the white are last year’s king chicks and the black specs along the beach are fur seals.
Here the ocean was a little calmer, but there were too many fur seals on the beach to make a safe landing. Instead we loaded into the zodiacs and did a drive by.
A large number of fur seals on the beach; the tiny black ones are this year’s pups and they are adorable.
Elephant seals are the largest seals in the world. They weigh 88-110 lbs at birth and are about 4’ 3” long. The mother feeds them for 3 weeks and then heads out to sea to feed at which point these baby elephant seals are known as “weaners”. This “little” guy would be a few months old.
Antarctic fur seals are much more aggressive in defending their turf and will attack and bite people if they feel they need to. This is a male fur seal, protecting his harem, which can be as many as 20 females.
Some king penguins out for a swim in the crystal clear water.
The penguin colony. The swatches of brown that you see are last year’s babies who will lose their fluff this year and head out to sea to feed for the first time.
More beautiful scenery…
A young fur seal checking us out…
One of the zodiacs with The Ocean Diamond in the background
We headed back to the ship and pulled anchor and headed to Salisbury Plain. There were fur seals swimming alongside and some Snowy Sheathbills flying around and perching on the ship.
Salisbury Plain is located on the north coast of South Georgia and is the home of the 2nd largest King penguin colony in South Georgia, with an estimated 200,000 nesting pairs. With juveniles and unsuccessful breeders, the population is likely around 500,000 king penguins. It’s hard to describe the expanse of it, the photos really don’t do it justice.
I think the Kings are the most photographic of the penguins we saw, they stand so regal and tall.
Penguins everywhere, I’m in penguin heaven…
Some of last years chicks have begun moulting, losing their baby feathers and growing their waterproof ones; you can see all the feathers on the ground. In the process, they can look quite comical.
It really is amazing to be surrounded by these beautiful creatures
The penguins have an oil sack at the lower part of their back. They reach their heads back to get the oil and groom themselves with it. This penguin had his head so far back that he looked headless.
And of course, we weren’t just surrounded by penguins. There were plenty of fur seals, some being aggressive, some not…
and curious little fur seal pups…
- Antarctic Fur Seals
- Elephant Seals
- King Penguins
- Right Whale Bay
- Salisbury Plain
- Snowy Sheathbills
- South Georgia
6 thoughts on “Day # 7 – Right Whale Bay & Salisbury Plain–Kings, kings & more kings”
A M A Z I N G ! ! ! ! ! You write such an interesting blog along with those fabulous photos! Oh I wish me and my camera could have been there with you!!!
Kathy, more fabulous photographs! No need to apologise for the length of today’s entry. I loved every minute of it. I was intrigued that the male fur seal “is aggressive in defending his harem, which may include 20 females.” I thought ” wouldn’t that be great.” Then I thought ” who am I kidding, maybe 40 years ago.” Then I realised ” No, not even 40 years ago.” These male fur seals are now my heroes.
Brilliant photos as always Kathy. Thank you for sharing! XXX
Through your eyes and camera lense it is almost as good as being there,we are really enjoying your blog.You should have been a travel writer.
Thanks for sharing Kathy. Can imagine it would be awesome to be amongst so many peguins in their native habitat. Probably pretty stinky also. Lol Wonderful scenery!
It must have been fantastic to see those King penguins porpoising along side the ship – an amazing photo! It is mind boggling to think there were too many seals on the beach to be able to land!