South Georgia , South Atlantic, a very remote British sub-Antarctic island, 170km long and 40km wide.
Discovered in 1675 by London-born merchant Antoine de la Roche while sailing from Lima to England. Captain James Cook made the first landing on January 17, 1775. It was the most important center for the Southern Atlantic whaling industry from 1904 until 1966. The settlement of Grytviken was founded by the Norwegian Captain Carl Anton Larsen. In its heyday around 300 men worked in the station during the summer months (Oct.-Mar.) .
It is also the site from where the heroic Irish polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left on his fateful Endurance expedition, and where he returned in the 6,5m lifeboat James Caird to fetch help for the rescue of his 22 expedition crew members stranded on Elephant Island, 800 miles away.
In 1921, Shackleton returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, intending to carry out a programme of scientific and survey activities. Before the expedition could begin this work, Shackleton died of a heart attack in 1922 while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia. At his wife’s request he was buried there in the lonely cemetery, alongside some Norwegian whalers (who died in a 1912 typhus epidemic) and an Argentine soldier -victim of the Falklands War. (Partially quoted from Wikipedia).
The photos below date back to January 2007. All taken with a NIKON D200 mostly with a AF-S NIKKOR 18-200mm
PS.: The University of Dundee has developed an apps “The Island of South Georgia” with more information and some stunning 360° panorama shots.
The approach of Gritvyken
The island is covered with glaciers
One of the huge penguin colonies
Remnants of one of the 6 old whaling station in Gritvyken Bay.
Whale products processing installation
The whalers church, Grytviken. Here Shackleton’s funeral ceremony took place on 5 March 1922, before he was buried in the local cemetery. Shackleton suffered a heart attack on board an old sealer, Quest, a vessel on which he planned his third Antarctic expedition, the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, in the Weddell Sea area of Antarctica. At first his body was taken to Montevideo where it was learned that Lady Shackleton wished that her husband be buried in South Georgia.
The Norwegian whaler cemetery near Gritvyken
Shackleton’s tomb in the Grytviken cemetery. The granite headstone was made in Edinburgh. It was unveiled by the Governor of the Falkland Islands in the presence of whalers and the crew of R.R.S. William Scoresby, in 1928.
Shackleton suffered a heart attack on board an old sealer, Quest, a vessel on which he planned his third Antarctic expedition,
The James Caird, the 6,5m lifeboat on which Shackleton reached South Georgia. The trip from Elephant Island in 1916 took 17 days of harrowing sailing, winterly gale conditions (incl. a huge tsunami wave!). It is rightly considered to be one of the most courageous survival stories in the history of exploration and navigation. (Photo taken at Dulwich College, London).
Falklands War: The Argentine surrender to the British in South Georgia (1982), Grytviken museum. South Georgia was from March 23 until 26 April 1982 a lesser known theater of the Falklands War: the painful, humiliating Argentine surrender to British Royal Navy officers took place aboard the HMS Endurance in Grytviken Bay.
S. Georgia was part of the Falklands War and Argentina had sent one war vessel to the remote island
A skua continuously flies over the penguin colony in search of an abandoned chick.