Monday, November 24, 2008

Xplore in So Georgia Island: 24 Nov 2008 #2

A surreal day at St Andrews Bay We were up and at 'em early this morn, heading for the famous Saint Andrews Bay!! We wound our way through some bergs and into a large bay with three huge glaciers feeding into it. From a distance you could see the elephant seals and penguins on the beach. We were soon anchored and readying the zodiac for a ride in. We surfed in on the rollers and unloaded quickly before the Capt. got swamped and headed towards the promised land. A large glacier-fed river stood between us and the main penguin rookery, and we tried unsuccessfully to find an easy way across. So Allan decided he wasn't going to be stopped and charged into the ice cold river, and through waist deep freezing water. I couldn't let him go alone so I followed on his heels, and our wellies were filled completely. But off we went, down a beach that was crowded with hundreds of leviathans (elephant seals) all grunting and bellowing our arrival. We crested a hill, and spread out for a kilometer in all directions were hundreds of thousands, yes hundreds of thousands of penguins . Baby brown fur balls and thousands of their King penguin parents. The sounds and smells were of another world. Yikes! It was a fantastic sight that will definitely be replayed in memories for many years to come, I'm sure. Spread out through them were hundreds and hundreds of elephant seals of all sizes: from the giant males to the doe-eyed babies. Coming back was equally challenging in the surf, and Allan and I were soaked through and through and frozen to the core - but you could not wipe the grins from our faces. We are sitting now on our yacht Xplore, anchored tightly in the bay. Katabatic winds are sweeping down off the glacier - 30 to 40 knots - and our sturdy yacht heels and keeps coming round. It is warm and cozy inside with delicious smells on the way up from the galley and much chatter on the day. Another unbelievable day in an unbelievable place, South Georgia!!! ~ John ( Standy Uppy) Wilson P.S . Go Stamps go, the new CFL Grey Cup Champs!

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