People travel for very different reasons. On an Antarctic voyage the majority of people are here for the wildlife, specifically penguins but they’ll take as many albatross, whales and seals as we can deliver. Then there are the history buffs and those seeking the ice. Finally we have the few who don’t care about Antarctica but want to visit all seven continents. Despite the wide diversity of wildlife we’ve seen in the Falklands and South Georgia, the events surrounding carrying Frank Wild to his final grave have overshadowed them.

So the day after the funeral was seen as something of a challenge to us – how fast could we change the orientation of the voyage. Fortunately, our first destination after Grytviken was Gold Harbour, perhaps the highlight of any visit to South Georgia. There’s always a bit of swell running so the best place to land is at the northern end of the beach where the elephant seals congregate. They were there in great numbers (and greater bulk) and there were their usual aggressive cousins, the fur seals.

The majority of the beach and back into the tussock grass was the domain of thousands of King penguins. These are the second largest penguins and have very colourful bright orange beaks and necks. Their chicks often look the same size as the adults but are apparently clad in very thick fur coats (the first explorers named them the “Woolly penguin”). The moult to adult colours is like the world’s worst case of acne. Interspersed among them were giant petrels, kelp gulls and skuas, all looking for the weak to provide a meal. Behind this natural abundance are towering mountains draped with hanging glaciers. It’s nature at its most awe inspiring.

We arrived in calm conditions with four hours to spend ashore. By the time we were ready to depart the wind was rising and the cloud descending. But any element of the outside human world was forgotten and yesterday’s funeral seemed a very long way away. Cameras and souls satiated we left just before conditions would have made that impossible. All that was left to do in South Georgia was take the ship deep inside the cleft of Drygalski Fiord then sail past the point Captain Cook named Cape Disappointment and set our track for Antarctica. Our task in South Georgia was complete.

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