img_1581-2This is a juvenile blue-eyed Cormorant, still in brown plumage. A giant Petral takes off before me. img_1505

 

 

 

Cooper  Bay is a mountainous land carved by glaciers on the Southern end of South Georgia.
Here you’ll find the largest nesting site of Chinstrap penguins on South Georgia.  Can you guess why some of them have pinkish-brown staining? They eat mostly Krill and some Shrimp. These guys laid in guano and need to take a bath.

Cruising along the coast, bumping around kelp festooned boulders and jutting pieces of rock, we found a large group of Macaroni Penguins. Big, soft snowflakes began to fall, making the scene otherworldly. These birds weigh about twelve pounds and stand about 28″ tall. They get their unusual name from 18th century slang for a person who is flamboyant in their dress, rather than having cheesy-noodle crowns.

Just before leaving this large sub-Antarctic island (we aren’t at the continent yet), the captain sailed the ship through narrow (seven miles long) Drygalski Fjord. Glacier scoured mountains soar out of the ocean, blocking the sky. We floated through brash ice, and heard the shot-gun blast of calving ice falling into the water around us.

At the terminal end is  Risting Glacier, named for a Norwegian whaling historian. These pictures were taken from the ship, so try to comprehend the magnitude of the tidal face looming many stories tall and burying almost five miles of terrain.

 

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