Today was a gorgeous last day on South Georgia. The sun was shining down and the air was almost warm. As the forecast was for snow and gales we took it as a parting gift from the island. Yesterday some of us walked to Maiviken to pay a last visit to the seal puppy pools and the little gentoo penguin colony. On our way over the hill we met 8 people from the base, all with nets. They had been penguin weighing, which involves catching and weighing 50 reluctant penguin chicks. When we reached the colony sure enough 50 penguins were sporting little red spray painted marks on their backs. Yesterday was a pretty awesome day for me. Two things happened. Firstly I was finally, after three months of trying, pecked by a penguin. It took about 15 minutes of patient waiting for the curious gentoos to pluck up the courage to approach and then to take my held out hand in their beak. It was more of a nibble than a bite and was worth the wait. The second exciting thing was that my long suffering boyfriend and skipper asked me to marry him and I said yes. There can’t be many places more special than South Georgia and now it is even more special to me and we have yet another excuse to come back here one day.
Last night we were invited to the King Edward Point base for drinks and to watch the end of a darts match that was taking place between KEP and one of the Antarctic bases. The evening quickly descended into dancing and we staggered home happily at 3 am. Today has been spent with happy hangovers and in preparing food for the 10 day voyage ahead. We are expecting bumpy seas for at least the first few days and so we’ve tried to make up a few of the meals in advance. James flew his kite, I made pizza, Bill had a look at some old duplex steam pumps and patterns, a few of us went up to the lake above Grytviken and swam in the freezing cold water (Rachel came out blue). More post cards have been written and we paid our bar bill at the base.
I think everyone will be sad to leave here where we have spent a very exciting 10 days that feels like much longer.
Happy Birthday to Lesley and to Kirsty !