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South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Curious what backpackers do in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
4w15w1y3 travelers at this place
  • After more than 2 days at sea we arrived at Possession Bay on South Georgia. It was early morning around 8 and actually one hour earlier since we moved to the time of South Georgia. They assessed the conditions in this Bay and found out it was to windy here. We moved to Bay of Islands and to Rosita Harbor to finally go further and by Zodiacs we landed on Salisbury Plain where 120000 King Penguins (Kings for short) were waiting and looking forward to our arrival 😆. This was a great experience, we were waiting for it a few days and to be lucky enough to go on land was a big relief. This area had a big beach filled with elephant seals and furr seals. With Kings (coming back from fishing) walking around on and over the beach made it spectacular because they really are interested in humans also and see no threat in us. Landings go from the Ortellius with zodiacs and to get everybody on land takes some time so the conditions must stay good for a few hours so they can make 12 landings and 12 pickups with getting the boats off and on the ship also. I am almost always within on off the first 3 zodiacs to come on land. Which makes it more an adventure because the animals can come and check you out before the make room for 120 people. Also not all tourists are respecting the wildlife the way most of us do. Therefore after everybody has passed a certain point all wildlife has moved out of the way, creating a big path for humans. Allthough it is really funny to see some group of Kings cross this path when they see a more relaxed group of people. So we walked from the beach between seals to the grassy hills and along this to the huddle of King chicks. From a small hill in the muddy grass lands I found a spot to overlook the whole colony and was enjoying this moment for a while. Than headed back and looking for nice moments to get pictures off or set up my go pro. I had this opportunity to set up on the beach while Kings where passing my gopro and actually coming straight at us. They appeared to be attracted to yellow (because they have yellow themselves)... and as you may have noticed my pants are bright yellow and they really came towards me more than others. Not only Penguins this time also a skewer flew in but more interested in my gopro oooh nooo. I had to get back to my gopro because he was picking at it, he could have swallowed it the guide said but also pick it up and drop it in sea. I made sure that if he grabbed it I grabbed him 😈. This bird was not impressed by my approach and left when he was done with examining my camera.
    A very good movie and I added a screenshot 😆.
    Back to the boat just in time because the wind picked up to 55 knots at one point so we had to get inside. We had plenty of photo's to sort out anyway. Also we heard in the re-cap that this morning was not early and that we were going on land tomorrow morning around 5:30. We did a couple of beers and slept like Penguins 😉
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  • 4:30 the wake up call over the speakers was heard: "Good morning, good morning everybody, we have good news it's beautifull outside and only 10knots of wind so we go to land at 5:30". Sebastian our expedition leader always has a funny way of giving messages. Also breakfast was after and not before this landing. This ship however always takes good care of its passengers and Rob took good care of his roommates Angel and me and brought us coffee and pastery for breakfast. Rob always is uo around 5 anyway to spot the early morning wildlife😆. We were at Stromness now and the early morning started for the "Longwalkers" with a hike to Shackleton's Waterfall. It's named because here Shackleton came over the mountains to save his crew and travelled by a small boat from Antarctica's Elephant Island to South Georgia and took 8 months and a 36 hour non stop hike over to Stromness. A beautifull walk and being the first there I had time to do some fun stuff, making a snowangel throw some snow balls at people and after making a big snowman😆 I headed back to be with the wildlife at the beach. Where we could enjoy the Furr and Elephant seals display their shows with the abandoned whaling station of Stromness on the background 😎.
    When all tags were flipped (system to see of everyone is on board) we went into Fortuna bay and found it full of mist, icebergs and a ghost ship haha 😆. We than went east to Cumberland bay to Grytviken. We landed there around 3 o clock and because of the early morning (and 30 minutes of dozing after lunch 😉) it felt like a new day. I did 2 tours on the Island and learned a lot about this place. In short it's a famous Whaling station where also Shackleton set out from to try and cross Antartica over it's full length. Around 6 we moved back to the Ortellius and would have had a BBQ on deck but they moved it inside, free drinks made a good alternative. So we drank enough to celebrate this beautifull day and fall a sleep early also 😆.
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  • Yes we did😆. In 30 years I saw only the Penguins in Artis (Amsterdam) and now to balance that scale I see 500.000 more in 1 day. It's absurd how big these colonies are, they just fill the whole area and it's like coming into the heart of their city.
    This city is known as St Andrews bay and we landed in the morning, with only Penguins, Seals and birds. As humans we were outnumbered at least 20 to 1 with every species but with the Penguins it was 5000 to 1 😆. Their colony was from the huddle spread out in all directions and particulary folowing a river that came from a glacier area. We couldn't cross this river to get closer but the Penguins also blocked the river sides by standing there in the water by the thousands. Amazing and after a while I did a Zodiac cruise because I was the first on land anyway and wanted to see the huddle from closer than the river. There were zodiac cruises for the first 20 people who came back since there is this restriction of a max 100 people on a landing site so everyday they let 20 of the 120 do a zodiac cruise before landing and they land when 20 are ready to go off. This cruising went allong the beach and directly in front of the heart of the colony, enough to see especially Kings haha😆.
    Than they brought us back and when I was just on the Ortellius again they got the rest of the people moving back anyway. After lunch we did a zodiac cruise on Royal bay/ Moltke Harbor, everybody got in the Zodiacs and with the boats we passed some rock formations and the beach where actually was enough wildlife close enough to take some good shots. Half way we were even surprised by this Elephant seal that popped up next to our Zodiac. It happend really fast but my reaction was to press the shutter and held it while aiming to the seal. One shot really was a nice one. We also saw the red headed ... bird which was feasting with some others on a carcass of a seal. It looked disgusting but funny also, wild life indeed😉.
    Back on the boat I was a little cold and I did my workout before dinner when the boat was still ankered. Still doing that every second day 😆 to stay in shape, because my normal dose of movement is never going to be reached on this trip.
    Sleep, however I get much more than regular😉 😴
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  • With yesterday's breefing I set my alarm on 5:10 hoping to have heard the wake up call from Sebas that we could go on land at Gold Harbour by than. Sadly no announcement came what mend that the weather wasn't good enough. That meant that we would give it a try at the next place, called Cooper Bay, after breakfast. A large Macaroni Penguin colonie would be living here and we could see them with a Zodiac cruise without going on land. Sadly when everybody was geared up and ready it was aborted due to heavy winds....😯. I stayed on deck to enjoy as much as I could because it mend we would leave South Georgia now. We went through the Icebergs (which was an amazing sight) to open sea where within an hour the wind and waves were so heavy that the outer decks were closed again. They played BBC's "Frozen planet" in the bar before lunch and around 4 o clock. After lunch (were maybe 1/4th of the people didn't show up) I had a power nap of an hour while freefalling half the time 😆. We were on deck 3 totally in the front so the tilt goes quite high there they call it pitch over the length and roll is banking left and right. This is measured as an angle but from out the middle of the ship the distance traveled in height increases to the outside 😉. On deck 6 (the bar) the movement left and right is a bit more than on 3 but up and down is less than in our Cabin at the front.
    After some blogging and reading diner was ready and the dining room was again not full. People feeling sick don't like to eat and I loved to eat because it keeps me from getting sick. I ate even a double portion and went to the bar to sort some photo's and to the room and read almost half my book because I couldn't sleep. The waves made me freefall every 5 seconds haha awesome feeling but not helping to sleep. When my roommate started snorring and I increased the volume on my headphone at 2:30 finally sleep got hold on me 😆.
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  • Annemarie's birthday!

    This was our last day at South Georgia :(. We had an excursion on the zodiac to Cooper Bay. We didn't land but went up to the coast and saw Macaroni penguins and Chinstrap penguins as well as many birds and seals. Also saw some great rock formations.

    Back on the boat and started our 2.5 day journey to Antarctica. Within half an hour of leaving South Georgia, fog and cloud rolled in and there was nothing to see!

    At night we celebrated Annemarie's birthday over dinner with an extended group including friends made on board.
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  • A big day at South Georgia!

    In the morning, we went ashore at Grytvika. There is an abandoned whaling station, a post office, a museum, a gift store, a church and a cemetery where Shackleton is buried. Lots of baby elephant seals, some young fur seals and some king penguins. Very picturesque!

    In the afternoon we went ashore at xxx. Here there is a rookery of king penguins. Numbers vary but the consensus amongst our guides seems to be about 500,000! Also plenty of young elephant seals and fur seals and a few (very large) older elephant seals. This was truly an amazing place.Read more

  • First day at South Georgia.

    One landing only today. We were blessed with great weather. A bonus was that the fur seal pups had hatched only a week ago. Also saw a colony of king penguins (about 7,000).

    Brad did a 4 hour walk into the island.

You might also know this place by the following names:

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Südgeorgien und die Südlichen Sandwichinseln, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, SGSSI, Suid-Georgië en die Suid-Sandwich-eilande, ደቡብ ጆርጂያ እና የደቡብ ሳንድዊች ደሴቶች, جورجيا الجنوبية وجزر ساندويتش الجنوبية, দক্ষিণ জৰ্জিয়া আৰু দক্ষিণ চেণ্ডৱিচ্‌ দ্বীপ, Cənub Gürcüstan və Cənub Sandvilç Adaları, Паўднёвая Джорджыя і Паўднёвыя Сандвічавы астравы, Южна Джорджия и Южни Сандвичеви Острови, দক্ষিণ জর্জিয়া ও দক্ষিণ স্যান্ডউইচ দ্বীপপুঞ, Inizi Georgia ar Su hag Inizi Sandwich ar Su, Južna Džordžija i Južna Sendvič Ostrva, Illes Geòrgia del Sud i Sandwich del Sud, Jižní Georgie a Jižní Sandwichovy ostrovy, Ynysoedd De Georgia a De Sandwich, South Georgia og De Sydlige Sandwichøer, Anyiehe Georgia kple Anyiehe Sandwich ƒudomekpowo nutome, Νότια Γεωργία και Νότιες Νήσοι Σάντουιτς, Sud-Georgio kaj Sud-Sandviĉinsuloj, Islas Georgia del Sur y Sandwich del Sur, Lõuna-Georgia ja Lõuna-Sandwichi saared, Hegoaldeko Georgia eta Hegoaldeko Sandwich uharteak, جورجیای جنوبی و جزایر ساندویچ جنوبی, Etelä-Georgia ja Eteläiset Sandwichsaaret, Suðurgeorgia, Géorgie du Sud-et-les îles Sandwich du Sud, An tSeoirsia Theas agus Oileáin Sandwich Theas, Xeorxia do Sur e Illas Sandwich, દક્ષિણ જ્યોર્જીયા અને દક્ષિણ સેન્ડવિચ આઇલેન્ડ, ג׳ורג׳יה הדרומית ואיי סנדוויץ׳ הדרומיים, दक्षिण जोर्जिया और दक्षिण सैंडविच द्वीपसमूह, Južna Gruzija i Južni Sendvič Otoci, Dél Grúzia és a Déli Szendvics-szigetek, Kepulauan South Sandwich dan South Georgia, Suður-Georgía og Suður-Sandvíkureyjar, Georgia del Sud e isole Sandwich meridionali, 南ジョージア島・南サンドイッチ諸島, სამხრეთი ჯორჯია და სამხრეთ სენდვიჩის კუნძულები, ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಜಾರ್ಜಿಯಾ ಮತ್ತು ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಸ್ಯಾಂಡ್‌ವಿಚ್ ದ್ವೀಪಗಳು, 사우스조지아 사우스샌드위치 제도, Pietų Džordžija ir Pietų Sandvičo salos, Dienviddžordžija un Dienvidsendviču salas, Јужна Грузија и Јужни Сендвич Острови, ദക്ഷിണ ജോര്‍ജ്ജിയയും ദക്ഷിണ സാന്‍ഡ്‌വിച്ച് ദ്വീപുകളും, दक्षिण जॉर्जिया आणि दक्षिण सँडविच बेटे, တောင် ဂျော်ဂျီယာ နှင့် တောင် ဆင်းဒဝစ်ဂျ် ကျွန်းစုများ, Sør-Georgia og de sørlige Sandwich-øyene, Zuid-Georgië en Zuidelijke Sandwicheilanden, Sør-Georgia og Sør-Sandwich-øyane, ଦକ୍ଷିଣ ଜର୍ଜିଆ ଏବଂ ଦକ୍ଷିଣ ସାଣ୍ଡୱିଚ୍ ଦ୍ବୀପପୁଞ୍ଜ, Georgia Południowa i Sandwich Południowy, Geórgia do Sul e Ilhas Sandwich do Sul, Georgia dal Sid e las Inslas Sandwich dal Sid, Georgia de Sud și Insulele Sandwich de Sud, Южная Джорджия и Южные Сандвичевы Острова, Lulli Georgia ja Lulli Sandwich-sullot, Južná Georgia a Južné Sandwichove ostrovy, Južna Georgia in Južni Sandwichevi otoki, Јужна Џорџија и Јужна Сендвич Острва, Sydgeorgien och Sydsandwichöarna, Jojia Kusini na Visiwa vya Sandwich Kusini, தென் ஜியார்ஜியா மற்றும் தென் சான்ட்விச் தீவுகள், దక్షిణ జార్జియా మరియు దక్షిణ సాండ్విచ్ దీవులు, เกาะเซาท์จอร์เจียและหมู่เกาะเซาท์แซนด์วิช, ደቡብ ጆርጂያ እና የደቡድ ሳንድዊች ደሴቶች, ʻOtumotu Siosia-tonga mo Saniuisi-tonga, Güney Georgia ve Güney Sandwich Adaları, Південна Джорджія та Південні Сандвічеві Острови, جنوبی جارجیا اور جنوبی سینڈوچ جزائر, Quần đảo Nam Georgia và Nam Sandwich, 南乔治亚岛和南桑威齐群岛, i-South Georgia ne-South Sandwich Islands