13th.February, South Georgia, Gold Harbour – King Penguins, Great Northern Petrels, Elephant Seals
We awoke to a stunning view of Gold Harbour with the early morning sunshine lighting a backdrop of snow covered mountains with glaciers and waterfalls tumbling down to the sea. A narrow strip of green fringed the beach where the thousands of penguins could just be seen. After a quick breakfast we were soon transferred to the beach amidst the abundant wildlife. King penguins, fur seals, elephant seals, giant petrels, skuas and other birds all lived in close proximity, mostly peacefully as if we were in an ancient painting of Adam and Eve in paradise, but with occasional outbursts of conflict. I saw 2 young elephant seals sparring, but the really big ones which do the serious fighting had already left for the sea. After 2 hours we had to leave because of the rising wind which could have marooned us on the beach. The zodiacs cannot be used in high winds and boarding from the beach becomes increasingly difficult.