South Georgia - Grytviken
Part way down the northern coast, we stopped at Grytviken, (pictured below) From 1904 to 1962, 175,250 whales were
processed on South Georgia Island. Today there are remnants of the whaling plants at this location and a few buildings to
house the scientists and fishery patrol. There are no persons living permanently at Grytviken.
A quarter of a mile from the whaling plant is the most
visited spot on South Georgia Island, the grave of
Ernest Shackleton (left).
On November 5, 1914, Shackleton's ship the
Endurance arrived in Grytviken on its way to
Antarctica with the intention to be the first person to
make a crossing of Antarctica. The Norwegian
sailors warned Shackleton that this was the worst
year they could recall for ice. The Endurance
eventually sailed on December 5 into the Weddell
Sea where she was beset with ice almost within sight
of its destination. After drifting north the Endurance
sank. The crew made it to Elephant Island with no
hope of rescue. Shackleton and five companions set
out in a small open boat to sail 800 miles through the
roughest seas in the world. 16 days later they arrived
at the south side of South Georgia. They then climbed
the snowy mountains in winter across the island to
Grytviken. It had been 18 months since Shackleton
set out on this ill fated adventure. After several
attempts to reach Elephant Island, Shackleton made
it to that island. Not a single man perished in this
In 1921, Shackleton led another expedition. However,
he was in poor health and died when they reached
Grytviken. Shackleton's body was taken to
Montevideo where it was learned that his wife wished
for him to be buried in South Georgia.
Fur Seal with our ship in
Fur seal mother and baby.
Sex is not a private matter in a colony
of 500,000 King Penguins (right)..