South Georgia Newsletter, September 2010

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- Disclaimer: This newsletter is not produced by GSGSSI; it does not necessarily reflect their views.



Commissioner Huckle's Parting Words


Commissioner Alan Huckle completed his tour of duty as South Georgia Commissioner and Falkland Islands Governor on September 18th. Here he looks back on his tenure as Commissioner.


“I have felt tremendously privileged to have been Commissioner for South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) for the past four years. It’s one of those jobs that give immense personal and professional satisfaction and enjoyment. There are many jobs that can grind you down but not South Georgia!


I was particularly fortunate in travelling to and from South Georgia in 2007 with Keith Mills and Guy Sheridan for a ceremony commemorating the Island’s liberation from Argentine military occupation in 1982 and visiting again in January this year with Jane Rumble, head of the Polar Regions Unit, FCO, and Martin Collins, which provided the stimulus for GSGSSI’s proposed new strategy - and I have overflown South Georgia by ‘plane and helicopter, courtesy of BFSAI. We deeply appreciated the hospitality shown to us by the Government Officers and their British Antarctic Survey (BAS) colleagues at KEP although, given the remoteness of the Territory, it brought home to me that the Commissioner has a primary duty of care towards all those who live there throughout the year. It’s not an easy place to live in and you have to have the necessary experience, resilience and support to do so.


Why is South Georgia so special? Certainly, its spectacular scenery with its high snow and ice-covered mountains which are in such contrast to the gentler, more rounded character of the Falklands. Arguably, because of its industrial heritage with the abandoned whaling stations looking so insignificant against the stark grandeur of their setting. Historically, because of the interest in the whaling communities, now disappeared, and because of South Georgia’s association with Sir Ernest Shackleton and the early British expeditions to the Antarctic. Scientifically, because of the impact of global warming. But, of course, most importantly because of its amazing diversity and concentration of wildlife which led David Attenborough to compare South Georgia with the Serengeti plains of Africa in terms of scientific interest to the naturalist. And SGSSI waters are just as rich in marine biodiversity.


The job of the Commissioner and the officers of the SGSSI Government is, amongst other things, to conserve the Territory’s natural environment, including its wildlife, and to manage the fisheries carefully as the government’s primary revenue resource. Key GSGSSI successes in my four years as Commissioner include:


  • the recertification in 2009 of the Patagonian toothfish fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (coming third highest in all 51 approved fisheries);
  • the successful completion of the restoration of the hydro-electric facility in 2009 at a cost of £1.7 million, significantly reducing KEP’s reliance on diesel fuel;
  • the completion of the new bio-security building which provides a controlled facility for checking all incoming goods for invasive insects and plants;
  • the introduction of new bio-security requirements for all landings, which IAATO has adopted in Antarctica as well;
  • progress on legislation, which should see the enactment of the Wildlife and Protected Areas Ordinance and the Prohibited Areas Ordinance this year;
  • the continued publication of visitor site guides for the areas most frequently visited by cruise ship passengers;
  • continued sustainable management of the fishery through participation in CCAMLR and our own scientific research. The fisheries patrol vessel protects against IUU fishing and the presence of SGSSI observers on each licensed fishing vessel has all but eliminated incidental sea-bird mortality;
  • the inauguration of a geographic information system (GIS) now on the website;
  • the construction of the boardwalk on Prion Island. Whilst initially controversial, most would now accept that it is serving a useful purpose without negative effect on the wandering albatross (or the experience for the visitor);
  • the continued emphasis on improving (and exercising) our disaster management plan and introducing improved risk management practices into our procedures;
  • preparation of a new strategy document for SGSSI, which will go out for public consultation soon;
  • progress on the management of heavy fuel oil (HFO) use in SGSSI territorial waters.


Two key initiatives, which – if successful – will be major advances, are:


(a) the habitat restoration project, spearheaded by the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT). This is an ambitious rodent eradication programme which will start early next year. If it proves effective, it will be the largest such programme to be successfully undertaken. SGSSI was given a major boost by the visit of HRH the Princess Royal as SGHT patron in 2008 – and I wish Howard Peace and his SGHT team every success in this venture;


(b) the reindeer management programme. We need to address this actively, given the imminence of SGHT’s rodent eradication programme. Our consultation document has encouraged much considered comment and the planned stakeholder meeting in London later this month should help to identify the way forward.


I cannot claim credit for much if anything of this. Many of the policy initiatives were started before my time and the hard work has been done by the GSGSSI team at KEP and here in Stanley. The Commissioner is fortunate in having a talented team, ably headed first by Harriet Hall and now by Martin Collins. I know that my successor, Nigel Haywood, will pay close interest in all matters relating to South Georgia and I wish him every success.”




Prohibited Areas

A new law prohibiting entry to areas around four old whaling stations has been gazetted. Called the "Prohibited Areas Ordinance 2010", it makes it an offence in law for anyone to enter prohibited areas around Husvik, Prince Olav, Leith and Stromness whaling stations. Anyone ignoring the new law will be committing an offence and be liable to be fined a maximum of £50,000 and/or imprisoned for up to a year.


The gazette includes maps showing the areas that no one may enter. An example is shown below.


A map from the gazette showing the prohibited area around Stromness whaling station.
A map from the gazette showing the prohibited area around Stromness whaling station.


The SGSSI Gazette No 1 can be downloaded here




Fishing And Shipping News

First yacht of the season “Golden Fleece” enters King Edward Cove.
First yacht of the season “Golden Fleece” enters King Edward Cove.


One vessel fished throughout the month, potting for crabs. The vessel completed an 'Experimental Harvest Regime' by September 12th. This is a CCAMLR conservation requirement for crab fishers in their first season of participation.


Two icefish trawlers are expected to start fishing in the SGMZ early next month.


The tourist season started with the arrival of the first yacht of the summer season. Charter yacht “Golden Fleece” arrived at the Island on Monday 20th. The yacht is supporting a film crew from the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (Korea). It arrived in King Edward Cove at the end of the month and will spend about five weeks around the Island before returning to the Falklands. The same group will return on the same vessel in a couple of months time to do further filming.





The Art Of Discovery


A new set of stamps has been released on the subject of William Hodges, the artist who accompanied Captain Cook when he was first to land on the Island in 1775.


Entitled 'William Hodges: The Art of Discovery', the set of four stamps and a First Day Cover were released on September 30th.


William Hodges was born in London. In 1772 he was appointed draughtsman on Captain James Cook's second voyage and he is best known for the paintings and sketches of the places he visited during that journey, including Antarctica and Easter Island. The apparent purpose of the second voyage was to search for evidence of a mythical, but much speculated upon, southern continent.


The Admiralty brief to Hodges was “to make drawings and paintings of such places as they may touch at worth notice, in their intended voyage” and to “give a more perfect idea thereof that can be formed from written descriptions only”. While Hodges drew coastal views for navigation purposes, his main work was to gather material for landscape paintings. During the course of their three-year journey, the crews of Cook's “Resolution” and its sister ship “Adventure”, were exposed to extreme weather conditions, environments and peoples. These ranged from the icy wastes of Antarctic waters to the first Pacific landfall in the dense rain forest of New Zealand's Dusky Sound, from the complex, hierarchical cultures of the cluster of Society Islands to the most geographically remote of all Polynesian societies, Easter Island.


Cook's expedition circumnavigated the globe at very high southern latitude, and on January 17th 1773 became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and was first to land on South Georgia. He mapped the islands and took possession of South Georgia for Britain.


The voyage required Hodges to respond to a staggering range of subjects, from the fantastical shapes of sea-worn ice to panoramic renderings of island cliffs and shores. He was asked to produce not only studies of the landscape, but portraits and botanical drawings. The artist proved remarkably flexible. Faced with exotic and unfamiliar landscapes, he was able to modify his conventional ways of working. These paintings were some of the first landscapes to use light and shadow for dramatic purposes. Hodges' use of light as a compositional element in its own right was a marked departure from the classical landscape tradition and contemporary art critics complained that his use of light and colour contrasts gave his paintings a rough and unfinished appearance.


On his return to London, Hodges was employed to supervise the production of engravings to illustrate the official account of the voyage. He also produced a series of epic paintings to commemorate the voyage.


The sketch of Cook's ship “Resolution” in a stream of pack-ice that features on one of the 70p stamps is owned by 'The Captain Cook Memorial Museum'. The other 70p stamp features one of Hodges' epic paintings from the voyage, 'A View of the Monuments of Easter Island'.


The 95p stamp features Hodges' portrait of Captain Cook.


The etching on the £1.15 stamp is taken from an original print entitled “Possession Bay in the Island of South Georgia. Drawn from nature by W. Hodges. Engrav'd by S. Smith”, this engraving was included in the book “A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World”, by James Cook.


The First Day Cover features a portrait of William Hodges from an engraving by William Daniell, 1810. It is based on a pencil and chalk drawing by the artist George Dance. South Georgia stamps can be bought via the website http://www.falklandstamps.fk where you can also read the press release for this issue in full.





Malcolm Burley And The Combined Services Expedition To SG


Lt Cdr Malcolm Burley RN MBE, who led the 'Combined Services Expedition' to South Georgia in 1964/65, died on August 23rd. His funeral was on September 1st.


Here he is remembered by his friend Patrick Fagan who was on the expedition with him.


“For me Malcolm Burley will always be the leader of the very successful 'Combined Services Expedition' to South Georgia in 1964/65. He of course had a full life both before and after this, but this memoir will concentrate on his life and times linked to South Georgia.


Malcolm was born in September 1928, and joined the navy immediately after World War 2 as a supply officer. His early career followed a fairly conventional pattern, albeit full of incident, but in 1960 he was appointed to “HMS Protector” and first experienced the lure of the southern ocean. In particular he fell for South Georgia, and its links to Ernest Shackleton. He was a sufficiently experienced mountaineer to be permitted to attempt Mt Paget (9,625 ft), and was nearly successful, being in the first team to reach the West Summit. This was the driving force behind his submission to the Ministry of Defence to take a 10-man services expedition back to the Island four years later.


At that time the policy was for the services to mount an ambitious expedition every 2-3 years, and Malcolm’s detailed plan won through against other submissions. His expedition had 3 main aims: to discover the route, and achieve the first crossing, that Shackleton, Worsley and Crean had taken from King Haakon Bay to Stromness; to make the first ascent of Mt Paget and as many other unclimbed peaks in that part of the Allardyce Range as time permitted; and to make a large scale map of the area north of Royal Bay.


Malcolm selected an excellent team from some 400 applicants from the 3 services, revealing early on this essential skill in a good leader. Typically we were 50:50 officers and NCOs, and the services were equally represented. He ensured that team members, all climbers of varied experience, acquired the skills necessary for their roles on the expedition; for example all members spent a week learning about surveying so that they could support the surveyors in their work. His diplomatic skill was also evident early on when we joined “HMS Protector” in Montevideo, ensuring that we all played our part in the ship’s role aboard and ashore, and that we fitted in seamlessly to the life aboard; this was also important on the 10-week return voyage up the west coast of South America as we worked up our results etc, and tended to get slightly more than our share of attention from the local communities and the press.


But what of Malcolm, the man. He exuded a quiet confidence right from first acquaintance, and had a jolly, warm and generous personality that immediately made friends wherever we were. He had a lively sense of fun, was highly sociable and loved parties – we had a few, before departure, during the expedition (when my own birthday was celebrated in a lively but chilly way on the Neumayer Glacier), on the return journey home – and at many reunions since. In the field he often let us discuss possible actions amongst ourselves when there was time, for there was a wealth of experience in the team, but then gave his decision (“orders” would not be the right word) and off we would go. He had this expression, “Order, counterorder, disorder!” said with the Burley chuckle which we came to know so well.


He was devout, and his religion meant a lot to him. On Sundays we always held a short gathering where one of us would choose a couple of readings from prayer books that Malcolm carried. Christmas was celebrated on the Kjerulf Glacier, and a large cave dug, roofed over with the 2 sledges, so that we could all be together for our Christmas lunch, seated on packing cases. Typically, again, every detail had been planned in advance so that we had all the usual decorations, balloons, and cards, as well as a traditional menu – and drink.


The expedition was a huge success. Mt Paget was climbed by a team of 3 with each service represented, and Mt Sugartop, the Island’s third highest at 7,623 ft, soon after. The remaining members of the expedition made attempts on Mt Fagerli (6,167 ft) and Paulsen Peak (6,158 ft), but unsafe ice conditions near the summit of each meant that neither summit was reached.


A large problem had been evident for some time – how to cross the Allardyce Range and return to Grytviken, and so move on to Royal Bay and the third phase. During the descent from Mt Fagerli a possible route was revealed; it was explored by a small team to ‘prove’ the route, and was successful. The 4,000 ft descent by the whole expedition, sledges and stores, from the high point along the range and down onto the Lyell Glacier and on to Grytviken took 9 days and was, in the view of those who did it, the major achievement of the whole expedition.


The expedition did not carry radios, perhaps the last such expedition to be allowed this concession. Malcolm had convinced the authorities that no one could come to our aid should it be needed, and any eventuality had to be solved by the team itself – just as in Shackleton’s own case. But we were rather overdue, and there was some relief at our bearded and unwashed appearance at Grytviken.


The last phase, the survey of the north Royal Bay area was also successfully completed despite the available time being reduced from 6 to 4 weeks. A previously unnamed summit in this area was officially later named Mt Burley (2,933 ft).


The overall success of this expedition depended very much on Malcolm, from his initial selection of the team, his detailed attention to preparation in every way, his excellent administration, and above all his superb leadership. In my book he deserves to be regarded as one of the great expedition leaders of his day, and he thoroughly deserved the MBE subsequently awarded to him. For many of us he changed our lives, in all kinds of positive ways.


About 5 years later he returned south to lead another combined services expedition to Elephant and Clarence Islands; again highly successful but of which I have no personal experience.


He retired from the navy as Commander in 1973, and became Bursar of Stowe School – a post which suited his skills and personality like a glove. He and his wife, Fiona, had 3 daughters, all now married and parents in turn. Malcolm and Fiona retired to Peasenhall in Suffolk and played a full part in the village life there.


Our 10-man team, now down to 8, on South Georgia has remained in close touch, and has had a number of full reunions. Five of us were there at Malcolm’s funeral in Peasenhall on September 1st, as well as a further 4 from the Elephant Island team, to join with a very large number of local and other friends.”


Obituaries were published in both the Times and the Telegraph newspapers.






Familiarity In A Foreign Landscape

Photo Adam Howe.
Photo Adam Howe.


Falkland Island photographer Adam Howe has just visited South Georgia for his project “Familiarity in a Foreign Landscape”.


Adam, who is in his third year of a BA (Hons) in Photography at Southampton Solent University, won a Shackleton Scholarship to assist his visit to a place he has long wanted to come to. Adam described South Georgia as a place “relatively undocumented. Yes, lots of people have taken photographs here, but not through a conceptual eye.” , and he saw the trip as an opportunity to “step outside my normal comfort zone and challenge myself”.


His ideas for the project cemented when, on the journey south from the UK, Adam sat next to Hamish Jennings on the plane. Another Falkland Islander, Hamish had worked in South Georgia and returned to the Island later as part of the clean-up team working in the whaling stations in the early 1990's; removing oils and other dangerous materials from the tanks and buildings. He invited Adam to come and see the photographs he had taken; Adam said the little black and white images “blew me away.”


Adam wanted to respond to Hamish's photographs and set out to explore the sentimental ownership of land through photography. As he worked around Grytviken Adam was thinking back to the whaling days, imagining whalers waking up and going to work with such an amazing landscape all around them. Often, as he worked, he had a feeling of deja vu as he composed his images, remembering those taken by Hamish all those years before.


Adam said he got quite lost here, as with so much beauty around him it was difficult to focus on the project. He took a lot of mountainscapes, trying to capture the grandeur he saw. At the end of his week long visit he described the whole thing as a “...fabulous opportunity. I would love to stay longer. I could easily spend a year just in Grytviken and still find new ways to photograph it.”


He has now returned to college and will work up photographs for an exhibition in the Falklands in December. Though he has exhibited his work before several times, this will be the first where he will be exhibiting alone, a prospect he described as “...terrifying as I am not sure how Falkland Islanders will respond to my images. The 800 or so images I have taken will expand my portfolio in leaps and bounds,” he said, “but it will be tough to choose only a handful for the exhibition. I will print them on polyfilm. Huge prints - several meters wide - which ideally will be backlit on light-boxes. Poly film is very effective with snowscapes, it should give them potency, and I hope the photographs will stretch to the periphery of peoples vision so they are drawn in by the image.” Adam also hopes Hamish Jennings will allow him to exhibit the tiny black and white photographs that inspired him alongside his vast works.


Out of his comfort zone, photographer Adam Howe enjoyed tackling unfamiliar challenges, like climbing mountains. Photo Robert Paterson.
Out of his comfort zone, photographer Adam Howe enjoyed tackling unfamiliar challenges, like climbing mountains. Photo Robert Paterson.





Bird Island News

By Stacey Adlard, Penguin/Giant Petrel Zoological Field Assistant at the British Antarctic Survey Station, Bird Island.


September is a month of change on Bird Island. It marks the end of winter and the start of spring. The days are becoming noticeably longer now, and it is usually light by 8am and doesn’t get dark until 8pm. Much of the wildlife returns to Bird Island in September and the beaches now contain the cries of the skuas and the sounds of belching male elephant seals, instead of the silence of winter. The snow and ice is also melting fast, which makes finding food a much easier task for the pipits and pintail ducks.


Mick returned to Bird Island at the start of September after a brief trip to the Falkland Islands. This was particularly nice because the ship had been to Stanley, so he arrived with lots of new and interesting goodies and foods which we had not seen for a number of months! Particular favourites were the grapes and avocados, and even relatively un-interesting things such as lettuce become quite a novelty when it has been six months since we have been able to have a salad. He also arrived with the mail bag of all post that has been sitting in Stanley waiting for the next ship to come to us. It is always nice to get letters and parcels from friends and family at home.


The “Pharos SG” brings Mick back home to Bird Island
The “Pharos SG” brings Mick back home to Bird Island



For the albatross assistant, September 1st is the first day of the summer season's fieldwork. It is marked by the final wandering albatross chick census of the year, and the start of the daily trips to the grey-headed albatross colonies to check for returning birds. Claudia also spent September ringing the wanderer chicks, which are now almost as big as their parents. Most now have lots of feathers, and they spend a lot of time flapping their wings, strengthening them ready for their first big flight later in the year. The first grey-headed albatross returned on September 13th, and the colonies have been rapidly filling up since then. The black-browed albatrosses also started turning up shortly after.


Wandering albatross chick.
Wandering albatross chick.


The giant petrels start breeding this month too, with the first egg found on September 16th. For the penguin/giant petrel assistant this means a daily round of the meadows, mapping out the nests and monitoring the success. It is nice to be back outside with fieldwork to do after the winter of lab work and data analysis. The gentoo penguins are all looking enormously fat so appear to have had a good winter. They too have started breeding, and are piling up massive heaps of stones to form into nests. The first gentoo egg was spotted on the 28th, which is almost 6 weeks earlier than last year!


Mick, the seal assistant, has been continuing his daily leopard seal round. On one occasion we were lucky enough to see a leopard seal in action. This was the first lep kill we had seen this season, and we watched it eat the small fur seal it had caught, thrashing it around in the water to break it into manageable chunks. It is quite a privilege to watch the impressive power of these creatures as they devour their prey.


Leopard seal thrashing its prey. Photos Stacey Adlard.
Leopard seal thrashing its prey. Photos Stacey Adlard.


Towards the end of the month, we started thinking about preparing the base for the summer visitors and for 'First Call', which is when the BAS ship, the “RRS James Clark Ross”, will arrive and deliver us all of the kit, food and people for the next year and coming summer season. This is currently due in late October. We had a big base scrub out and put aside a large amount of junk that has been sitting in dusty corners of various store rooms, to be sent out when the ship arrives. Joe, our techie, has been busy installing new cables under the base and up the comms tower, to be used for one of the summer projects.


Andy Wood (who looks after the Bird Island bird ringing, and a lot of our databases) arrived on the “Pharos SG” towards the end of the month. His arrival marks the end of the winter, as he is the first of the summer staff of the season.



A day in the wildlife of Bird Island. There is lots of wildlife action at Bird Island even this early in the season. For a snapshot of what is here already and what they are doing, see the penguins, seals and various albatrosses as filmed on Sept 30th.





South Georgia Snippets

With the SGHT's 'Habitat Restoration Project' due to start this summer, many have been closely following progress on the vast pest eradication attempt at Macquarie Island. Macquarie, the largest subantarctic island where such pest eradication has been attempted, is much smaller than South Georgia.


Sadly the latest attempt on Macquarie did not go well. With baiting being done in winter months, they found protracted poor weather prevented them flying to distribute the bait most of the time. Now they are gearing up again ready for another attempt next winter.


The latest issue of the 'Macquarie Dispatch', newsletter on the eradication project (No.6, September 2010) has now been published. For more information go to http://www.parks.tas.gov.au


The BAS club has recently announced Sally Poncet as a Fuchs Medal winner. The Fuchs Medal recognises outstanding devotion to BAS's interests, beyond the call of normal duty. Though not usually employed by them, Sally has been closely associated with BAS for nearly thirty years. In a press release outlining the reasons for award it states that: Through the mid-80's she collaborated with BAS scientists mapping distributions of elephant seals, macaroni penguin and mollymawk colonies around South Georgia and the Willis Islands. She also co-authored several articles and scientific papers on the plants and animals of the polar and sub-polar regions to the 'Polar Record' and to 'BAS Bulletin' during this time.


Through to the 90's and beyond she has continued to assist in the development of understanding of South Georgia ecosystems through her data input, support and advice to BAS, along with numerous other projects that she has completed independently or in collaboration with other partners. These have included the census of wandering albatross and giant petrels, the mapping of vegetation distribution, seabird habitats and colonies to compile baseline environmental surveys of South Georgia, rat eradication trials, documenting tourist visits and developing tourist guides. More recently her direction has been shifting towards the long term conservation and management of the Island. She remains an almost annual visitor to the shores of South Georgia. Sally will be presented with the Fuchs Medal at the BAS Club Reunion in Bristol in next year.


An expedition called 'The Shackleton Epic' is being launched by Tim Jarvis to attempt to be the first to successfully repeat Shackleton's epic boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia and cross the Island. The expedition will use a replica of the “James Caird” and will use only 1916 technology, food and equipment.


You can read more about the expedition and see some super photographs of the boat under construction at http://www.timjarvis.org/Expeditions/2011-Shackleton-Expedition


The KEP team have been practising various emergency scenarios. On Wednesday 22nd there was a search and rescue (SAR) exercise involving everyone. Three people had supposedly gone missing on a hill walking trip. For the SAR, two boats were launched and took a rescue party and their equipment round into Cumberland West Bay to deliver onto the beach at Harpon Bay. The exercise went well; snow made tracking the lost people easier, though the search party had to be careful not to follow the tracks of other searchers, and all three missing people were found in the space of a few hours.


There was also an oil spill response practice. The scenario this time was a spill of around 800 litres of fuel during refuelling from a ship at the jetty. An oil spill containment boom was rigged and deployed in the Cove and a temporary containment tank set up on the jetty.



SAR equipment was landed ashore at Harpon Bay
SAR equipment was landed ashore at Harpon Bay



A team of four from KEP were taken to Prion Island, Bay of Isles, on the “Pharos SG” to do the fledgling survey. The survival rate of chicks on the island was about as expected, 28 chicks were found from 33 nests.


The wanderer chicks on Prion Island have survived the winter well. Photo Robert Paterson.
The wanderer chicks on Prion Island have survived the winter well. Photo Robert Paterson.



What a crafty lot we are. South Georgia entries to the Falkland Islands Craft Fair have done very well in the past, but this was a bumper year with four first places, two seconds, a third and a highly commended. The show was held on September 11th and 12th and every single entry sent from South Georgia got a prize!


First prizes were awarded to: Ali Massey for her South Georgia themed monopoly board, Ruth Fraser for her wooden pencil box with etched glass lid; Matt Holmes for his metal sculpture of the bow of a whaler with mounted harpoon gun, and Thies Matzen for his wooden sculpture of a whale with the map of South Georgia carved in relief on its back. Craft show committee member Natalie Smith said “It was a good weekend and although the overall number of entries was down on last year the standard was as high (if not higher) than ever.”


Two of the South Georgia entries with their certificates after the judging. Photo Natalie Smith.
Two of the South Georgia entries with their certificates after the judging. Photo Natalie Smith.



Spring is under way with the first female elephant seal hauling out at KEP on September 16th, the same day the first skua of spring was seen. The first elly pup was born across the Cove on the 19th and the first at KEP on the 23rd. There will soon be many many more.



The first locally born elephant seal pup was born at Souza Point.
The first locally born elephant seal pup was born at Souza Point.



Gentoo penguins explode out of the water at sunset and then head up to their overnight roost on the hillside inland at Maiviken.


Dates for your diary: An art exhibition “Deep South”, featuring the work of seven artists who have been to the Antarctic, will be hosted in the Old Library at Dulwich College from October 25th to November 4th.





Five of the seven artists travelled together to South Georgia, Antarctica and the Falklands on the ship “MV Andrea” last year. What they saw and experienced gave them plenty of inspiration for their art.


Artist Libby Jones provides the centre-piece of the show; an inspiring iceberg installation complete with dripping water and ticking clocks. Photographer Kristine Hannon captures moments along the journey. Print maker and painter Tracey Myers brings to life moments from the history of the whalers, producing images which highlight the stoic - and sometimes unpredictable - character needed to live and work in a brutal industry. Painter Krys Leach also uses the whaling industry as his inspiration - making 3D paintings from “objets trouves”, he uses texture and innovative techniques to render the intricate tracery of the ice, soft snow and hard industry. Ceramic artist Beryl Hole has translated the sway of the Southern Ocean and the jagged ice into graceful pots and ceramics. Photographer Joanne Wilkinson made a study of the teeming animal and bird life of the region. Painter Bruce Pearson is a well known wildlife illustrator with a long association with the Island. His drawings of albatross soaring over the Southern Ocean were produced largely on site and bring the immediacy and drama of the region right onto the walls.


“Deep South” will be officially opened by the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, grand daughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton


Open daily 10 am to 5 pm, free admission.



On November 3rd, in the Old Library, Dulwich College at 7pm, artist Bruce Pearson will give an informal presentation and painting demonstration entitled “An Artist in Antarctica”. Admission £5, payable on the door, all proceeds to the SGHT.


The exhibition “Deep South” will travel to various venues around the the UK in the coming months, including The Stables Gallery in Twickenham and Discovery Point, Dundee (April 2012). The exhibition will change throughout the period it is on tour, with artists adding to their exhibits in each venue as - hopefully - earlier ones sell, expanding themes and exploring new ideas each time.

Info : http://www.navigationart.co.uk:





The 'Endurance' exhibition of Hurley's photographs continues at the Merseyside Maritime Museum until January 5th 2011.


The one man theatre show 'Tom Crean's Story', suitable for all ages, will be staged three times a day on certain dates through October and November and into December (mainly weekends).


The last photo: Sometimes there is little excuse for including just one more photograph in this newsletter, other than we just like it...





View Of The Month

Don’t forget to see this month’s 'View of the Month' on the South Georgia Heritage Trust website.





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