Happy birthday!

First: Happy birthday to Gemma’s sister Rosie, hope you have a lovely birthday weekend xx

Yesterday was pretty special.

We say that over and over, and yesterdays highlights summed up the astonishing nature of South Georgia. I looked around the beach to see gentoos avoiding fur seal pups, king penguins regally ignoring fur seal pups, pippits dancing amongst fur seal pups, giant petrels being tormented into fleeing by fur seal pups, humans fascinated by fur seal pups and slightly scared of fur seal mums, all on Prion Island, misnamed as it’s the home of around 30 wandering albatross pairs.

Here, we anchored in 35m of water 100m from the cliffs in 35-40 knots of wind and ran the dinghys to the landing beach. A short walk up the boardwalk leads to the top where wandering albatrosses soar on the stiff breeze, dazzling with their lazily elegant, staggering speed and poise. Next to the boardwalk are nests where you can see the true size of these beauties from 10′ away, dwarfing the fur seal pups that occasionally get within reach. In view across to the next small hillock 3 albatrosses flexed their wing in mating dance, showing off their huge power, though i’m sure 3’s a croud!

Afterwards we headed off downwind to Gritviken, arriving in the dark, dodging icebergs and fitting on the last 10′ of the pier. A beautiful sleep followed, and late rising this morning with folk washing themselves and their kit has been quite therapeutic.

James

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