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Gold Harbour -- elephant seal paradise
Antarctica - pure awe for 19 days...

Elephant Seals in GrytvikenElephant Seals in Grytviken (Peyton McCollum)
In the morning we took the zodiacs to Gold Harbour where huge elephant seal males grunted and sneezed and fought each other for the nearby females. They were molting as well with shaggy bits of fur crusting on their backs. A sight to behold, and humorous as well. There were also tons of King Penguins at this site, and several skua, two of whom paid me a very close visit and created some of my most memorable photos of my trip. One came within a millimeter of my wide-angle lens. Worth the risk! Once back onboard the Ortelius, the wind picked up dramatically as we entered Drygalski Fjord. Several of us had to be rescued from the bow of the ship, as winds were at 100km/h and could easily have blown us off. A bit scary but I love that sort of thing so it was all good. The sea took on a ghostly appearance with the wind, and our first large glaciers emerged with bright turquoise accents. We were heading out to sea for a long voyage south to Antarctica, and our departure from South Georgia was simply spectacular.

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