Landscape - Matthew J Photos


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King Haakon Bay's Cliffs

King Haakon Bay, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Google Maps Location photo was taken from:

Our first day arriving in South Georgia, on the north westerly southern facing side of the island, we were headed for King Haakon Bay for our first landing. Imagine now it is 1916 and you are part of Shackleton’s 5 man crew, sailing for 16 days from Elephant Island in Antarctica in a 20 foot lifeboat across the Drake Passage. You hope to navigate to South Georgia 800 miles away, using only a sextant, which relies on seeing the sun, but have mostly overcast stormy days with 50 foot plus waves. And then you eventually make it, to only be greeted by 2,000-3,000 foot rocky mountainous cliffs like these. While we could easily make it to a landing spot for our Zodiacs, since we were on a large sea faring cruise ship, imagine being on a tiny boat, powered by 6 men with paddles, aided somewhat by a sail, and you are faced with a hurricane for two days that makes landing onshore near to impossible. Seems like a walk in the park right?