For the longest time, I tried to get a shot of a single, lone King, in front of this gorgeous mountain range and glacier. When you come onto the beachhead at St. Andrew’s Bay, there are penguins, seals and whole host of other marine and bird life scattered in the thousands across a densely packed landscape. The King Penguin colony alone was close to 300,000. Down near the beachhead, it is especially crowded, with most of the Kings in groups of ten to twenty or more. So when this adorable King waddled ahead of his group by about ten feet or so, I scrambled into place. And being that I had to scramble quickly, had my exposure setting way too hot, but luckily was able to recover all the details. What was a mistake on my part, turned into one of my favorite photos from the whole trip.
St. Andrew’s Bay, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Google Maps Location photo was taken from: Click Here
This was a rare sighting down in South Georgia, for Weddell Seals live in a circumpolar distribution around Antarctica. Our One Ocean expedition guides told us there has been a small population of Weddells observed year-round here in Larsen Harbor, along with some others who have been seen in South America, New Zealand and south of Australia. There was only this one lying on the small spit of flat land, in what is mostly sheer cliffs of the fjord and no flat shoreline. Our expedition guide got our Zodiac to about 20 or so feet and turned off the motor, as to not disturb it. As we clicked away grabbing shots like this, it just sat there on its side looking at us, never moving, with not a care in the world.
Drygalski Fjord & Larsen Harbour, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
GPS Coordinates: 54°50'10.032" S 36°2'35.892" W
These adorable elephant seal pups were everywhere at Gold Harbour, from the moment the first group unloaded off the zodiac, to when the last departed. It was a literal swarm of a these cuties, coming up to the home base on the beach, which is where everyone could leave their belongings, along with an expedition guide always present to assist with anything. My friend I probably spent a good half hour or more, sitting in the sand, while these pups came right up to us within inches, soaking it all in. I mean honestly, how could you not love them, with their puppy like faces, and big round, inquisitive, curious eyes, looking right at you. These few week old pups were looking at us for food, more specifically, milk. Their moms trained them for 2-3 weeks and then took off to sea, gone for at least a few years before seeing them again. While it might seem harsh, in nature, it is sink or swim. For these pups, instincts will kick in and most will survive to grow into adulthood.
Gold Harbour, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
GPS Coordinates: 54°37'2.615" S 35°56'21.594" W