- Dawn shore call at Salisbury Plain to visit the largest King Penguin colony in the world – CANCELLED
- Visit Prion Island to see the Albatross nesting grounds
- Find an alternate cove to visit instead of Salisbury Plain
Today began at 5:00 AM (2:00 AM EST) in the hopes of visiting over 100,000 nesting pairs of King Penguin, thousands of Elephant Seals, and some Fur Seals, plus some superior scenery. It was a let-down 3 times. We tried at 5:45 AM, again a few hours later, and then we went back again in the afternoon. The waves were too big to successfully offload and load passengers into zodiacs. We will make another attempt over the next few days. This is a spot I have always wanted to visit.
I’m going to skip past Prion Island for a minute to get the boring stuff out of the way. After our third attempt at Salisbury Plain, we decided to find a cove with less wave action and ended up at an old whaling station. We went for a zodiac cruise because we couldn’t get near the station due to possible asbestos poisoning.
I cannot remember the name of the station, but will get it again later. There was a young male elephant seal inside one of the buildings practicing his grunts. We assumed he liked the echo – it was pretty amusing! Then we watched young fur seals play king of the reef until a snow storm began. Then we finished the evening with dinner and me typing this blog article now.
That was the boring part of the day, which wasn’t all that boring.
Prion Island is killer! On the beach is a mixture of Gentoo Penguins, Fur Seals, Skuas, and other birds. On the cliff above are nesting Wandering Albatross chicks and other big birds.
The highlight of the day was seeing Light-mantled Sooty Albatross doing their courtship flight. These albatross are the only ones that don’t nest in colonies, so they’re hard to find. They have a beautiful mating call and perform a ballet of graceful acrobatics once a mate has been chosen. We got to witness the whole thing!
One of the naturalists told me this photograph is a prize possession.
I have now photographed every animal I wanted to shoot while down here except the gray-headed albatross. I need some better shots of a few things, but I’ve got everything on the list check already (except 1) and I still have 4 more days on South Georgia!