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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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Elsehul Panorama
Elsehul Panorama
Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain
The Weather Changed for Worse
The Weather Changed for Worse
Alone on Snowy Slope
Alone on Snowy Slope
Sleeping Okemo Boys
Sleeping Okemo Boys
Dang! Where Is That Kid of Mine?
Dang! Where Is That Kid of Mine?
Begging For Food
Begging For Food
Getting and Obviously Feeling Rejected
Getting and Obviously Feeling Rejected
Stay Away From Me, Please!
Stay Away From Me, Please!
A Sad Ending for This Chick
A Sad Ending for This Chick
Begging and Being Considered
Begging and Being Considered
Finally Being Recognized and More Importantly, Fed
Finally Being Recognized and More Importantly, Fed
Regurgitated Food Tasted Good
Regurgitated Food Tasted Good
Close-up of a Chick
Close-up of a Chick
Another Begging Chick
Another Begging Chick
And a Successful Ending
And a Successful Ending
A Stream Runs Through It
A Stream Runs Through It
Panoramic Shot
Panoramic Shot
Hey, This Ain't Peepshow!
Hey, This Ain't Peepshow!
Beachmaster in Action
Beachmaster in Action
Throwing Sand
Throwing Sand
Voyeurism at Its Best!
Voyeurism at Its Best!
Beachmaster and His Challenger
Beachmaster and His Challenger
Isolated in a Small Section
Isolated in a Small Section
The March of the Penguins
The March of the Penguins
Too Clumsy To Walk on Foot
Too Clumsy To Walk on Foot
Less Tiring/Clumsy Way of Transportation
Less Tiring/Clumsy Way of Transportation
Taking a Break
Taking a Break
Route Map for Falkland Islands
Route Map for Falkland Islands
Striated Caracara
Striated Caracara
Self Portrait in Caracara's Eye LOL!
Self Portrait in Caracara's Eye LOL!
That's Mr. Duck to You, OK?
That's Mr. Duck to You, OK?
Magellanic Snipe
Magellanic Snipe
Rockhopper Penguins Showing Affection to Each Other
Rockhopper Penguins Showing Affection to Each Other
Cormorant (Shag) Carrying Nesting Material
Cormorant (Shag) Carrying Nesting Material
Cormorants (Shags) Showing Affection to Each Other
Cormorants (Shags) Showing Affection to Each Other
Nesting Gentoo Penguins
Nesting Gentoo Penguins
Aah, Two Eggs in the Nest
Aah, Two Eggs in the Nest
Two Almost Identical Caracaras
Two Almost Identical Caracaras
Panoramic View of Steeple Jason Island
Panoramic View of Steeple Jason Island
Expressing I Love You in Albatross' Gesture
Expressing "I Love You" in Albatross' Gesture
Get Away! I Am About to Land!
Get Away! I Am About to Land!
Circling Around to Spot the Landing Spot
Circling Around to Spot the Landing Spot
A Black-Browed Albatross Colony Near the Waterfront
A Black-Browed Albatross Colony Near the Waterfront
A Nesting Black-Browed Albatross
A Nesting Black-Browed Albatross
Aah, That Feels Good!
Aah, That Feels Good!
Finally, Just The Two of Us
Finally, Just The Two of Us
Scary Looking Rockhopper Penguins
Scary Looking Rockhopper Penguins
Making Loud Noises
Making Loud Noises
A Gliding Black-Browed Albatross
A Gliding Black-Browed Albatross
Cute Pose of a Rockhopper Penguin
Cute Pose of a Rockhopper Penguin
Yes, They Are Actually Nesting
Yes, They Are Actually Nesting
A Pair of Kelp Geese
A Pair of Kelp Geese
Shake, Shake, Shake
Shake, Shake, Shake
A White Kelp Goose Enjoying the Water
A White Kelp Goose Enjoying the Water
One, Two...
One, Two...
Made It!
Made It!
A Streaking Albatross
A Streaking Albatross
Rockhopper Penguin Couple
Rockhopper Penguin Couple
From a Higher Point of View to Show the Area
From a Higher Point of View to Show the Area
Carrying Nesting Material
Carrying Nesting Material
Delivering Nesting Material While Others Looked On
Delivering Nesting Material While Others Looked On
Beautiful Blue Eyes
Beautiful Blue Eyes
Legible Tag Number
Legible Tag Number
Full Breeding Plumage
Full Breeding Plumage
Too Much Nesting Material for a Single Load?
Too Much Nesting Material for a Single Load?
Loosing Balance
Loosing Balance
Long-Tailed Meadowlark
Long-Tailed Meadowlark
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