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South Georgia and Falkland Islands

When I told some folks that I would go on a trip to South Georgia, the most common reaction I heard was it would be the state of Georgia, one of the states in the United States. Or, some did guess that I would be going to a country near Russia. When I explained that my destination a remote island group in the Southern Ocean, near Antarctica, their reaction would be "Oh, a cruise then". Well, yes and no. It would be on a ship alright but it was far off from being on a cruise, let alone a luxury one. Was it worth it? As far as photography is concerned, yes! But the Southern Ocean was not kind to me. I got seasick from being on a fairly small ship in rough water and I meant, really rough. Maybe not so for seasoned sailors but for me it was. The only way to get to South Georgia is by ship. From Santiago, we flew to Port Stanley on Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) first in a once-a-week flight and it took us 3 long days to reach the destination. A map of the main island and the route of the trip is depicted as the first image. The trip continued to a few islands of the Falkland islands and ended in Ushuaia, the southern tip of Argentina where we boarded a plane to go back to civilization after 21 days.

So, what's special about those remote island with no current permanent population under British rules? Mostly, it was the presence of photogenic wildlife, especially of king penguins that flourish in huge colonies. It was early spring over there and it was the breeding season and the penguin chicks are adorable. However, on some islands, non-indigenous animals cause problems to endemic wildlife population. Reindeer, brought in as a meat source for the whaling industries in the past and worse so, rats, as illegal ship "passengers" were introduced by accident in the past and they pose a serious threat to specific endemic wildlife populations. The government and various organizations have stepped up the process of eradicating those pests.

The climate is classified as polar, and the weather is highly variable and harsh. It could be sunny for a few minutes and quickly it became overcast and 30 minutes later, it could start snowing or raining. It was windy all the time and the temperature hovered around freezing during the day. We stayed in South Georgia, hopping from one landing site to the other for 12 days and we saw only a single day where the morning was sunny just for a few hours but it was still chilly and breezy.

Photography tidbits:
Generally, the images displayed on this gallery are in chronological sequence with some minor changes to tell the "story" better. Until the last minute, I was debating what my maximum focal length would be, 300 or 400mm. At the end, I chose to take my 300mm f/2.8 IS Mark II since it is more compact and lighter but I also took my crop camera body, a Canon 7D, in addition to my Canon 5D Mark III, to compensate for the shorter reach. My lens lineup, in addition to the 300mm lens, which really excelled and ended up being the most used lens, consisted of a 70-200mm f/ 2.8 Mark II, a 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II, 17mm TS-E and 8-15mm FE zoom lens. Although all lenses were used at one time or the other but the last two shorter lenses were not used much at all and I didn't get any keeper from the two on this trip. Oh, well. I also took both my Mark III TCs, the 1.4X and 2X but the 2X TC didn't get used at all.

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to leave your comment directly on this gallery or on the images as you see fit. In addition, if you think that it deserves your vote, please do vote. Thanks again!

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Route Map for South Georgia
Route Map for South Georgia
Black-browed Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
Grey-headed Albatross in Flight
Grey-headed Albatross in Flight
Nesting Grey-Headed Albatross
Nesting Grey-Headed Albatross
Nesting Grey-Headed Albatross
Nesting Grey-Headed Albatross
Early in the Morning at Right Whale Bay
Early in the Morning at Right Whale Bay
Getting Back Ashore!
Getting Back Ashore!
Finally, on Solid Ground... Sort of.
Finally, on Solid Ground... Sort of.
Shaking the Water Off
Shaking the Water Off
Getting Back Ashore as a Group
Getting Back Ashore as a Group
Semi Close-up
Semi Close-up
Solo!
Solo!
Flap, flap, flap!
Flap, flap, flap!
Are You Feeling Down?
Are You Feeling Down?
Aaah,  I Feel Better Already
Aaah, I Feel Better Already
Thank You for Cheering Me Up, Honey!
Thank You for Cheering Me Up, Honey!
A Handsome Dude!
A Handsome Dude!
Feather Details
Feather Details
Carrying a Backpack
Carrying a "Backpack"
Frozen Waterfall
Frozen Waterfall
Ready to Go Back into the Water
Ready to Go Back into the Water
In Triangular Formation
In Triangular Formation
Aah, It Feels Refreshing!
Aah, It Feels Refreshing!
Another Group of Penguins Readying to Go Back into the Water But....
Another Group of Penguins Readying to Go Back into the Water But....
Turn Around, Turn Around!
Turn Around, Turn Around!
Wandering Albatross Chick
Wandering Albatross Chick
Close-up of Wandering Albatross Chick
Close-up of Wandering Albatross Chick
South Georgia Pintail or Little Teal
South Georgia Pintail or Little Teal
South Georgia Pipit
South Georgia Pipit
Mating Gentoo Penguins
Mating Gentoo Penguins
Nursing Elephant Seal Cub
Nursing Elephant Seal Cub
Icicles on Grass
Icicles on Grass
Go Away, We Don't Want You Here
Go Away, We Don't Want You Here
Grooming Is a Must
Grooming Is a Must
Scrunched Up but Fat Nonetheless
Scrunched Up but Fat Nonetheless
Royal Embrace
Royal Embrace
Elephant Seal Cub
Elephant Seal Cub
The Bayard Ship Wreck from 1864
The "Bayard" Ship Wreck from 1864
The Bayard in Black&White
The "Bayard" in Black&White
Former Whaling Facility
Former Whaling Facility
Whale Bone
Whale Bone
May It be Chained Forever and Ever
May It be Chained Forever and Ever
The View That Greeted Us at St Andrews Bay!
The View That Greeted Us at St Andrews Bay!
Ready for Breakfast!
Ready for Breakfast!
A Molting King Penguin
A Molting King Penguin
What a Jaw Dropping View of the Penguin Colony!
What a Jaw Dropping View of the Penguin Colony!
Tons of Okemo Boys or Penguin Chicks
Tons of "Okemo" Boys or Penguin Chicks
Reflecting Penguins LOL
Reflecting Penguins LOL
Ouch, Where Have We Come Ashore?
Ouch, Where Have We Come Ashore?
Be Careful Where You Step On
Be Careful Where You Step On
Wait Up for Me!
Wait Up for Me!
Try to Keep His Cool
Try to Keep His Cool
Together As a Group - Somehow It Feels Safer
Together As a Group - Somehow It Feels Safer
Dancing Their Way Out
Dancing Their Way Out
Dancing Their Way Out 2
Dancing Their Way Out 2
To the Left. No, to the Right. No, Left!
To the Left. No, to the Right. No, Left!
Details of a Sleeping Penguin
Details of a Sleeping Penguin
A Brown King Penguin
A Brown King Penguin
At the Pool
At the Pool
A fact of life or more appropriately, a fact of death!
A fact of life or more appropriately, a fact of death!
Glacier at Drygalski Fjord
Glacier at Drygalski Fjord
Drygalski Fjord
Drygalski Fjord
Glacier Face at the End of Drygalski Fjord
Glacier Face at the End of Drygalski Fjord
Beautiful Icicles at Glacier Face
Beautiful Icicles at Glacier Face
The End of Frozen Waterspout
The End of Frozen Waterspout
Splash!
Splash!
A Fierce Looking Grey-Headed Albatross
A Fierce Looking Grey-Headed Albatross
In Flight
In Flight
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