Day 14 February 5th

Day 14

Monday, February 5th

St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, and Drygalski Fjord


Another early wake up call and we didn’t mind because it was going to be an exciting day!  By 7:00 AM we were in a zodiac being transferred to St. Andrews Bay!  It is the largest King colony of its kind on South Georgia.  We are so excited that the weather cooperated!  It is a stunning place.  There are elephant seals, fur seals, and over 100,000 breeding pairs of King penguins!  We had 2 hours, 15 minutes to explore the area.  We needed to give the molting penguins 15 meters or about 49 feet and the others around 5 meters or about 16 feet.  (A side note, all our distances, temperatures, and weights were given to us using the metric system.  The Americans were the only ones who had to think about conversions!) 

We would explore for a little bit and then sit at various times and the King penguins would come right up to us which was allowed.  You weren’t allowed to approach them but they could approach you!  It needed to be the penguin’s choice!

These King penguins are very curious about our little stuffed Tacky the penguin.  As the penguins approached, Tacky was away!  See the video below.


In this next video, listen to the pair of King penguins “talking”!

We feel that “a picture is worth a 1000 words”!  So we will include some of our favorite photos from St. Andrews Bay.

Everywhere you look are King penguins and chicks.
Over 200,000 King penguins and this number doesn’t include the chicks!
Kings are all over the bay in every direction.
So many Kings!
The King chicks are at various stages of fledgling.
This King chick appears to be wearing his tux! Its down feathers are almost gone!
With climate changes, the glacier has receded quite a bit in the last 30 years!
You will find fur seals and King penguins all along the banks of the glacial rivers!
It is quite a sight to see this many penguins along the river!
These elephant seals are huge!
These elephant seals aren’t as big as the males which are out in the ocean feeding! Wow!
These elephant seals are SO big. Females can weigh 800-2000 pounds.
A King penguin breeding pair!
Another pair enjoying the sunshine!
“The hills are alive…”
Until we meet again!

It was such a wonderful morning at St. Andrews Bay!

This afternoon was a trip to Gold Harbour.  The weather was not like the morning sunshine.  It was spitting rain most of the time that we were there.  We had a little over an hour to wander around and enjoy all of the wildlife and beauty that surrounded us before boarding a zodiac and touring around the harbour.

On land we saw elephant seals, skua birds, fur seals, King penguins, gentoo penguins, and a lone Chinstrap penguin.  We watched the King penguins kind of walk the Chinstrap into the water!

One lonely Chinstrap penguin!
When you compare how many penguins it takes to equal one elephant seal!
Elephant seals resting on the beach.
Two young male elephant seals practicing “fighting”.

There were a lot of King penguins at Gold harbour.

A part of nature and not one we care to experience but a baby chick has been killed by a skua bird and they soon will be tearing it to shreds.  It is quite gruesome to see.IMG_1179

The picture below shows how curious the penguins are of humans and they aren’t afraid to get close to you!


After dinner, the captain navigated the ship down the Drygalski Fjord, which is 4-5 miles long.  At the end is a beautiful glacier and more on each side of the ship.  Despite the wind, rain, ice pellets and fog most of us were out on the docks to enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounded us.

It was definitely a day filled with amazing scenery, exciting wildlife and full of adventures!

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