Grytviken - South Georgia

After getting dropped off at Maiviken, a group of us hiked a couple of hours into Grytviken. This is the administrative center and "main settlement" on South Georgia with a handful of permanent residents at a BAS (British Antarctic Survey) Research Station at nearby King Edward Point. Incidentally, we would later see another BAS base at Signy Island in the South Orkneys.

Since Grytviken sits on flat land in a well sheltered harbor (plus has a nearby fresh water supply with hydro capability), it became the primary whaling station in South Georgia with several hundred (seasonal) workers during the peak whaling years in the early 1900's. It was shut down in the mid-1960's as the whaling populated became depleted, but the rusting facilities still remain as a grim reminder of an unfortunate earlier era.

Grytviken is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton ("The Boss") and his nephew Johnnie Shackleton led us in a toast at his grave.
The must-see incredible South Georgia museum not only chronicles the Shackleton saga, but general life and history of South Georgia.

Greg took this picture of Grytviken as we hiked over South Georgia

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Wide-angle view as we descend into Grytviken

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A closer view shows the rusty remains of the whaling village and restored church

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View of Grytviken British Research Station from nearby King Edward Point - wide-angle view

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Close-up of the Ocean Nova in the sheltered bay

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Pewan took this picture of the rusting propellers from the old whaling ships

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Similar color on the rusting storage tanks

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The clean white of the restored church was a stark contrast

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Ditto the incredible museum - this lifeboat carried six men 800 miles from Elephant Island across open seas - pic by Linda

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Everyone makes an Irish Whisky Toast to Ernest Shackleton - mouseover to see pour

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Everybody wanted a picture with Johnnie Shackleton ... so I jumped in with the local newspaper

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Some seals were mildly interested in what we were doing

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Seals could use a bit of tidying up with a tissue - mouseover image for close-up

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Last bit of sunlight over South Georgia as we leave Grytviken

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I was on the last Zodiac from Grytviken back to the Ocean Nova - it was a darn cool place and I wish we could have stayed for a couple more hours as the sun started to set. After an overnight cruise, our first stop the next morning was Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia.

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