Day 9- Godthal Harbour and Grytviken, South Georgia Island

We start our day at Godthul, named for a Norwegian word for "good harbor."  This was a busy whaling station and whale bones remain scattered all over.  This little fur seal is using an old bone for a pillow.Seal pup resting on old whale boneGodthul Harbour baby fur seal resting on whale bone

These barrels are remnants of the whale oil processing station.  Closed down for many years, this is where thousands of whales were brought to have blubber stripped and the oil processed. Remains of whale oil processing at Godthul HarbourGodthul Harbour

Whale carcasses once filled the harbor and lined the beach.  This is now home to a rebounded fur seal colony. Seal on Godthul beachGodthul Harbour

Fur seals flank King Penguins amid old whale bones on the Godthul beach.

Fur seals flank King Penguins amid old whale bones at Godthul, the old Norwegian Whaling Station.  Seals and penguins at Godthul Harbour

Gentoo penguins waddle to the shore and swim off in their constant search for krill.

Back on the ship, we pass more fields of tabular ice bergs on the way to our next landing.Tabular ice neat GrytvikenCumberland Bay

As we arrive at Cumberland Bay and King Edward Point BAS (British Antarctic Survey station), we get our first glimpse of Grytviken.Grytviken from the deck of our shipGrytviken Whaling Station This is the location of Shackleton's grave.ShackletonErnest Shackelton's Grave

And, we arrive on a special day--the 91st anniversary of Shackleton's self-rescue.  Pauline Carr, one of our expert educators, gets scotch for our toast to the "Boss"on the 91st anniversary of his death.  Pauline, and her husband Tim, sailed a 28 foot sailboat from England to Grytviken and lived here, mostly by themselves, for 14 years. Hearty souls.Toasting the "Boss"Toasting Shackleton

Making our way across the harbor, we walk around many elephant seals snuffing and snorting as they nestle into the folds in the land.Elephant seals are scattered all over the Grytviken shorelineGrytviken

The Petrel, a rusty old whaling ship, sits in the Grytviken harbor as a sobering monument to the carnage that occurred here.The Petrel, an old whaling ship in GrytvikenGrytviken

The chains seem to symbolize the hard living that was Grytviken.Chains at GrytvikenGrytviken

And above the town sits the chapel, an example of the beauty of South Georgia.Grytviken chapelThe Grytviken Church

A full visit as we head back to the ship.Grytviken chapelThe Grytviken Church

Tomorrow we head to St. Andrews Bay--this should be one of the high points of the trip.  A massive king penguin colony at the point where three glaciers terminate.


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