South Georgia Newsletter, March 2014

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

The Mountain That Jumped

The GPS station installed at the top of Brown Mountain last summer recorded that the mountain “jumped” 7mm during a recent nearby seismic event. The GPS station was originally installed to measure land uplift and tectonic plate movements. The recording of the effect of nearby earthquakes was not one of the expected outcomes within the first year of the installation. Nevertheless, measurements during seismic activity along the South and North Scotia Ridge Transforms on the 17th and 24th November 2013, respectively, were recorded. The large earthquake of the 17th had an epicentre to the west of the South Orkney Islands (60.27°S, 46.40°W) along the South Scotia Ridge Transform, the most active section of the entire plate boundary of Antarctica. The resulting seismic waves travelling through the Earth’s crust shook Brown Mountain displacing it by 7mm before settling back to its normal position. Although this is sufficient for people to feel the earth shaking, no one at KEP recollected being aware of it, possibly because it occurred at night. Much closer to the epicentre, the Argentine science station at Orcadas in the South Orkney Islands was seriously shaken and permanently displaced by 60cm towards East, 20cm towards South and 0.3cm up!

Brown Mountain with arrow showing the site of the GPS station. Based on a photo by British Antarctic Survey.
Brown Mountain with arrow showing the site of the GPS station. Based on a photo by British Antarctic Survey.

The GPS station on Brown Mountain is linked to the tide gauge fixed to the jetty at King Edward Point (KEP) and the data shows that a small tsunami wave followed the earthquake. The tsunami arrived at KEP at 8:34, around two and a half hours after the earthquake, reaching a maximum wave height of 15 cm. Since the very large earthquakes in recent years (Indonesia, Chile, Japan), it is being realized that the analysis of readings from a network of GPS stations recording data every second can lead to a better estimation of the magnitude of these seismic events than from data of the specialist seismic stations. A quick and reliable estimation of the magnitude is important for the very large events that trigger tsunamis. That said, GPS will not replace the specialist seismic instruments which are far more sensitive and can detect even the slightest tremors; there is a seismic station on KEP too.

The GPS data is also being used to analyse the effect of greenhouse gases. To enable the position of the mountain to be measured to the millimetre, the GPS signals need to be processed very carefully; en-route the signal travels through the Earth’s atmosphere but the signal is affected by water vapour in the atmosphere. Water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas; as the atmosphere warms it can hold more water vapour which increases global warming. This effect of the water vapour on the GPS signal is measureable, giving scientists another powerful tool to monitor climate change and any resultant global warming.

During their visit in March the two scientists, Dr Norman Teferle and Dr Addisu Hunegnaw of the University of Luxembourg, which is funding the project, installed a further GPS station on KEP. The combined measurements recorded by the two stations will now enable more accurate and comparative results to be obtained. The first year results from the station on Brown Mountain indicate that Brown Mountain is steadily moving north and possibly subsiding, though the movements are only at the millimetre level and much more data is needed to be sure. With another station now installed they will be able to see if both stations are recording the same land motion or not. It will be possible, for instance, to see if there are changes within the gravel spit that forms KEP or if there is subsidence of the jetty due perhaps to heavy traffic use. The latter affects the readings of the tide gauge measuring sea level.

The GPS stations have been installed because relatively little is known about the motion of the Scotia Sea Plate, and to test a theory that South Georgia could be a micro-continent. What is known is that relative to the Scotia Plate, the South American Plate is moving westward (8-9 mm/yr), and the Antarctic Plate is moving eastward (6-7 mm/yr). The terminus of the Scotia plate is marked by the East Scotia Rift, separating the Scotia Plate from the South Sandwich Plate upon which the chain of seismically active volcanic islands - the South Sandwich Islands - sits. To better cover the area Dr Norman Teferle hopes to return and install other GPS stations in the region.

Other work done by the visiting scientists during their stay included reactivating a GPS station on the slopes of Mt Duse and installing a tide board on the KEP jetty. In another side-use of the GPS data, the GPS signals sent down from the satellites are partly bounced off the sea surface before being received by the GPS station on KEP. Under certain circumstances this bounce is also measurable and can be used to record the sea level, giving a neat check to the tide gauge data.

Fishing and Shipping News

The 2014 toothfish longline season opened in March. Two vessels were inspected and licensed, one arriving in Cumberland Bay on the 5th and the other on the 17th; both vessels then went to fish off the South Sandwich Islands (CCAMLR Area 48.4). Each vessel had a quota of 22 tonnes of Patagonian toothfish and 12 tonnes of Antarctic toothfish for the area. Both longliners finished fishing in the area and returned to South Georgia waters around the end of the month and now await the opening of the South Georgia toothfish season on April 6th to recommence fishing.

Whilst waiting at anchor in Cumberland Bay for several days, one of the longline vessels, San Aspiring, put their crew ashore to clean the local beaches of debris left from the two shipwrecked fishing vessels that went aground in the area in 2003.

March was the final month of the 2013-14 tourist season and seven cruise ship visits were due during the month; however one vessel cancelled its visit to Grytviken when it needed to leave with a medical emergency.

The tall ship Bark Europa offered locals the opportunity to join the ship for a sail from Maiviken to Grytviken, whilst the ship’s passengers walked across. She departed next day on a cruise that will take them to the Azores and then on to Holland.

The first ever cruise ship entirely chartered to a group of Chinese visitors arrived at South Georgia on March 17th. The 161 passengers were accompanied by translators. The Chinese and Russian markets for tourism to South Georgia are growing and the same vessel Ocean Diamond, operated by Quark, expects to have another entire Chinese charter visiting the island next season.

The NG Explorer arrived on March 18th, sailing later that day with four extra passengers; the four SG Museum staff leaving at the end of the season. There were still two further cruise ships to visit. A small expeditionary group travelling on Polar Pioneer planned to do the Shackleton Crossing (King Haakon Bay to Stromness), but cancelled it due to poor weather conditions. The last cruise vessel of the season was Plancius on March 29th.

Ocean Diamond in KE Cove during the first ever full Chinese charter of a cruise ship visiting South Georgia
Ocean Diamond in KE Cove during the first ever full Chinese charter of a cruise ship visiting South Georgia

Two private yachts started the month at the island. The skippers of Saltash and Kamiros were waiting for favourable forecasts to sail away from the island; one headed to Uruguay and the other for Cape Town, South Africa.

Charter yacht Pelagic Australis arrived early in March with a party of six from the South Georgia Heritage Trust to start rat monitoring work at the north-western end of the island (see below).

In total the 2013-14 tourist season had 55 cruise ship visits which brought just under 7,000 passengers and 17 visits from yachts bringing a further 100 visitors.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) vessel RRS Ernest Shackleton came alongside the KEP jetty on the 9th to resupply the science base and remove cargo. It sailed two days later for Stanley, FI. The Fishery Patrol Vessel Pharos SG assisted in the challenging task of recovering 244 fuel drums, 115 of which were full, from several sites around the north-western end of the island where they had been depoted for use during Phase Two of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project.

RRS Ernest Shackleton alongside at KEP.
RRS Ernest Shackleton alongside at KEP.

‘Extreme Ice Survey’ Expands Into South Georgia

Climate change campaigner James Balog has extended his glacier change survey, the ‘Extreme Ice Survey’ (EIS), into the far south. For years he has been recording the change in glaciers due to climate change using static cameras placed near glaciers. So far most of these have been in the northern hemisphere and the resulting time-lapse film clips are at times dramatic and a brilliant tool for educating the public to the effects of climate change. Now he has placed cameras at South Georgia as well as the Antarctic Peninsula region.

James Balog placed a camera near the Risting Glacier to the far south of South Georgia in February. His work was supported by Lindblad Expeditions on their ship National Geographic Explorer. He was accompanied on the trip by two field worker mountaineers and a cameraman.

EIS was founded in 2007 to use a mixture of art and science to highlight climate change effects. There are currently around 30 cameras deployed in places like Greenland, Iceland, Mount Everest, and Alaska. To start with there was frustration and disappointment whilst the kit was adapted to just keep working despite being left unattended year-round in harsh weather conditions in the exposed positions the cameras were placed in, but once technical aspects were overcome the results were at times astounding.

The cameras take an image every half hour of daylight year round, yielding approximately 8,500 frames per camera per year. The images are downloaded approximately once a year, and then compiled into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming glaciers and the landscapes associated with them. These can graphically show the decrease in extent and size of the glaciers. In some places the ice has retreated so far and so fast that the cameras have had to be repositioned several times to still be able to see the glacier snout. As well as the retreat of the ice, the reduction in the depth of the glaciers and the resultant visible scarring of the hillsides is obvious. The films have become a powerful tool to engage the public in the climate change discussion and to try and force those unwilling to accept that climate change is happening and that it is due to human activities.

The Extreme Ice Survey team with the camera they installed near the Risting Glacier. Photo Earth Vision Trust.
The Extreme Ice Survey team with the camera they installed near the Risting Glacier. Photo Earth Vision Trust.

In South Georgia James Balog and his team were put ashore by zodiac from the NG Explorer to find a good vantage point to mount a camera in the Drygalski region. They had already placed several cameras in the Antarctic and found the conditions they met in South Georgia much more challenging. Their first attempt was abandoned due to the severe weather, but they were luckier when they returned late afternoon the next day. In his blog James Balog described, “Our hopes for calm winds are squashed by the telling whitecaps running down the fjord. The wind is steady at 40 knots. Our eyes search the fjord wall for a relatively safe spot to install the cameras and we come to agree that a small rock perch about 200 feet up from the water and just over one mile from the terminus will work…..The drilling begins, wires are tightened, and the housings go up as quickly as our wet and frozen fingers allow. The wind is making even small tasks incredibly difficult, but we manage to get two of the cameras running without too much rain soaking the housings.”

Sadly plans to deploy cameras at another site on the island had to be cancelled when the ship’s visit to the island was cut short due to a medical evacuation, but the team are hoping to return next summer to continue their work. EIS is a project of Earth Vision Trust. Learn more about the Extreme Ice Survey at where you can watch some of the impressive time-lapse clips of glaciers changing.

Monitoring Begins In Rodent Eradication Phase Two Area

A year after baiting of the north-western end of the island was completed in Phase Two of the SGHT Habitat Restoration (rodent eradication) Project, a team of six people arrived to start monitoring in the area. The team arrived at Grytviken on March 9th aboard charter yacht Pelagic Australis to collect field gear and were joined by GSGSSI representative Andy Black. They set sail next day and made good progress putting out well over a thousand monitoring devices, including wax-tags and cameras, all around the Phase Two area. The yacht then returned to KEP for a couple of days before returning to see if any of the devices had recorded rodent activity.

The monitoring team on Pelagic Australis had some challenging weather to contend with at times during the survey.
The monitoring team on Pelagic Australis had some challenging weather to contend with at times during the survey.

Some control devices were set out on the untreated (and so rat-infested) Barff Peninsula by GSGSSI to correspond with the SGHT deployments and showed clear signs of being chewed after two weeks. SGHT Deputy Project Director Rob Webster, who is leading the expedition described the results as “unambiguous and striking”, saying the “peanut-laced chewboards had been shredded, and the wax-tags bore unmistakable sign of rat incisors.”

Project Leader Tony Martin, speaking from the UK, said, “It is just one year since we baited the Phase Two area, and that’s too soon to be sure that the rats have all gone, even if the monitoring team find no evidence of any survivors. But the idea of this expedition is to investigate whether any of the 12 baiting zones treated in the Phase Two area in 2013 show obvious signs of surviving rodents, allowing us to order additional bait for next season to re-treat any areas that need it. If surviving rodents are found anywhere then we will go back to fix the problem in less than a year from now. That's the beauty of a multi-year operation.”

A new edition of ’Project News’ was published in March and can be downloaded here. Or seen on the SGHT website.

‘Mrs Thatcher’s Gamble’ A Book Review

The book ‘Mrs Thatcher’s Gamble and the Corps of Royal Marines, South Georgia Island April 1982’ by author David Kenney was published in 2013.

A review by Stephen Palmer (notes from the newsletter editor follow):

This book bears all the hallmarks of having been written by the classic ‘Armchair Warrior’. It also reflects a manifestly biased United States of America-viewpoint of the events in the South Atlantic in 1982. Despite containing a number of interesting facts and insights about the military action to recapture South Georgia in 1982, the book is greatly marred by many factual inaccuracies, simplistic analysis and swingeing personal criticisms and attacks on some of the people involved with the events of April-June 1982.

This reviewer once served in the Royal Navy and thus has a great personal affection and respect for the Royal Marines, but this book grossly overstates its case when it sings the praises of the Corps and its actions in South Georgia to the detriment of others involved in the action. But what is more objectionable is that this book is excessively critical of the role and the personnel of the Special Air Service (SAS) in the South Georgia action.

With the luxury of hindsight it is clear that mistakes were made by everyone concerned in the campaign to liberate the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. It can be argued that the actions of the SAS on the Fortuna Glacier may well have been ill-judged and against sound local advice, but the author has allowed his use of colourful rhetoric and language to weave a skewed account of events with a potpourri of ‘barrack-room lawyer’ opinion, conjecture and military mythology.

Almost everyone, apart from the Royal Marines, in positions of leadership during April – June 1982, comes in for withering attacks from the author; e.g. Mrs Thatcher (‘plunged her dwindling political capital into a distant venture’), John Nott (‘In many ways the French were our greatest allies’), Admiral Sandy Woodward (‘his defensive tactics failed’), General Peter de la Billiere (‘his curiosity about an unplanned war in a place he had never seen had gotten the better of him’). There was, and probably still is, much rivalry between the various units of the Special Forces, but this author has made far too much of this in a supposed rational and historically accurate account of the events of 1982. He has allowed his admiration for the Royal Marines to colour his judgement in an unjust and inaccurate manner.

The book does have some redeeming features. This is an important subject and the story deserves to be told well. I am glad that the role played by the members of the British Antarctic Survey is properly recognised. I was also pleased to see the courage and skill of the Captain and crew of the Argentine submarine Santa Fe acknowledged and outlined. The account of the tragic events surrounding the sad death of the submariner Felix Artuso aboard the vessel was particularly moving.

But overall, this book is fatally flawed; it is far too outlandish in its claims, comments and criticisms; it is far too personal in its attacks on those involved with the planning and execution of the campaign to recapture South Georgia. It does not take serious account of what can happen to military planning and action when the ‘fog of war’ descends. The reviewer was reminded during the reading of this book of the old adage attributed to Mark Twain – ‘Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can't think of anything better.’

The book concludes with the words: ‘Those who know the events of that April 1982 understand that after battle bits of metal and ribbon seldom tell the truth’. Very true! Sadly, however, this book also fails to tell this important story in an accurate, true and trustworthy manner. The role of the Royal Marines throughout the Falklands Campaign was an honourable one and worthy of praise, but any account of the actions of the Royal Marines in April 1982 on South Georgia should not be told in such a cavalier manner. The book represents an opportunity missed to tell the true and unbiased story. Sadly the author offers the reader a very partisan and twisted account of a remarkable feat of arms by a small group of professional soldiers and sailors thousands of miles from home and in a very hostile environment. South Georgia in April 1982 deserves better.

Notes from the newsletter editor - Several key members of the British Forces involved in the action on South Georgia in 1982 are known to have collaborated with the author David Kenney in an effort to get a factually correct record of events published. As author David Kenney states in the foreword to the book, others, including Argentines, were asked for comment but did not respond.

The author is a retired US Naval Captain with experience of the complexities surrounding amphibious operations and the extensive footnotes in the book are testament to the considerable research he did in preparing to write the account, but nevertheless some factual inaccuracies, especially in the early chapters, should have been picked up by an editor.

For other records of this period of South Georgia’s history read: ‘Operation Paraquat’ by Roger Perkins; 'Beyond Endurance' by Nick Barker, Captain of HMS Endurance at the time, and the 'Letter from Grytviken' published in the final chapter of the book ‘Taxi to the Snow Line’ by Guy Sheridan, leader of the British land forces which retook the island.

‘Mrs Thatcher’s Gamble’ is published by Oak Square Press inc. (ISBN-0-9660717-2-7) is available in print or can be downloaded from

Tallship Used For Microplastic Survey

Bark Europa is being used as a platform for science. Photo Patrick Lurcock.
Bark Europa is being used as a platform for science. Photo Patrick Lurcock.

The beautiful tallship Bark Europa is also currently a platform for a global science project. The ship is being used to conduct trawls sampling the ocean for microplastics. The ship sailed north from South Georgia in mid-March. As she heads up the south and north Atlantic en route to her home port in Amsterdam, Holland, Bark Europa will be towing a fine trawl net which traps any objects in the water. Non bio-degradable plastics never completely decompose and plastic objects that have been discarded at sea can float around and break into smaller and smaller pieces, sometimes too small to be seen with the naked eye. Scientists have been studying this in recent decades and are investigating the problems the plastics cause; for instance larger pieces of plastic are often gathered by foraging birds who think it is food, and sometimes also feed it to chicks which can then die with stomachs full of plastics. Shellfish and other animals can also filter the microplastic out of the water and may be adversely affected.

A sample of tiny pieces of plastic filtered from sea water. Photo
A sample of tiny pieces of plastic filtered from sea water. Photo

For the study aboard Bark Europa, Eduardo Rubio of the National University of Mexico is collaborating with New South Wales University (Australia). The ship’s route will take the vessel through the South Atlantic Gyre, an area of ocean where the effect of the ocean’s giant swirling currents concentrates the plastics. Each sample is taken over a four hour period, sampling between 200 to 300 m3 of ocean in each trawl. The samples are being analysed on board using a magnifying steroscope which allows even the tiny pieces of plastic that can be found in sea water to be picked out, collected and further analysed. The scientists are expecting the presence and change in volume of plastics caught in the gyre to be very obvious as on an earlier voyage the same sampling was done through the North Atlantic Gyre. The results there showed more and more microplastics collected as they sailed through from the outer edge of the gyre through the centre, where detritus is most concentrated, then reducing again as they emerged the other side of the gyre.

Eduardo Rubio said the results seen from the North Atlantic Gyre showed incredible aggregations of microplastics towards the centre, with thousands of pieces of microplastic present in the samples taken near the centre of the gyre. Early results of the sampling on the current voyage found no traces of plastic whilst sailing in the Scotia Sea, however they started to find plastic at more northerly latitudes, particularly when they crossed the 30°S line of latitude.

For more information got to

Bird Island Diary

By Cian Luck, Seal Zoological Field Assistant at the BAS Research Station at Bird Island.

The RRS Ernest Shackleton arrived on March 6th for ‘last call’ marking the end of the summer season and the beginning of winter. While this year’s winterers (Jerry, Jess, Cian and Rob) were excited for the season ahead, it was sad to say goodbye to the summer crew and last year’s winterers. But before we could say our goodbyes we had to get the base ready for last call. This meant all hands on deck as everyone got stuck in moving oil drums, packing cargo, ploughing through paperwork, and tying up loose ends before the ship arrived.

The bulk fuel team did an amazing job in getting the system up and running in such a short time frame. Thanks to their tireless efforts the base is now running on a bulk fuel system. This is the end of an era on Bird Island, as ‘first call’ will no longer involve rolling hundreds of oil drums up and down the jetty.

The newly constructed bulk fuel system. Photo Cian Luck.
The newly constructed bulk fuel system. Photo Cian Luck.

The seal team had a few last minute jobs to get done before last call. The smelliest of which was collecting teeth from dead male fur seals. This meant combing the beaches and walking up and down every stream as these are often hot spots for dead males. The later in the season we wait to do this, the easier the teeth are to remove, but the smellier the seals get. Our last puppy weighing session this year fell on March 11th. With only four of us left on base this meant all hands were needed to catch and weigh 100 of the feisty little pups which aren’t so little any more! We were all muddy and tired afterwards but it was a job well done.

Fur seal pups all grown up. Photo Cian Luck.
Fur seal pups all grown up. Photo Cian Luck.

Lots of the northern giant petrel chicks are fully moulted now and are looking spectacular with their dark black feathers. They’re so grown up that they’ve started leaving the nests, with nearly half the chicks now fledged. Jerry has been doing some behavioural observations of the macaroni penguins, focusing on preening behaviour, trying to get an idea of who’s preening who. They look a bit scruffy at the moment while they’re moulting.

Northern giant petrel chick fully fledged and ready to leave the nest. Photo Jerry Gillham.
Northern giant petrel chick fully fledged and ready to leave the nest. Photo Jerry Gillham.

Macaroni penguins in moult. Photo Jerry Gillham.
Macaroni penguins in moult. Photo Jerry Gillham.

Most of the wandering albatross eggs have now hatched and we have lots of fluffy little wanderer chicks around the island. They’re already growing quickly but it’s still hard to imagine that something so small will grow into a bird as enormous as the parent sat above them.

Wandering albatross parent and chick on Wanderer Ridge. Photo Cian Luck.
Wandering albatross parent and chick on Wanderer Ridge. Photo Cian Luck.

It was a strange adjustment at first, going from 11 on base down to 4, but we’re all enjoying the extra space, and there’s something really spectacular about having the whole island to just the four of you. So after the first month of winter we’re all having a great time. It’s a joy to call this special island home. Bring on the next seven months.

South Georgia Snippets

Extended walk assessment: Three people have been assessing regular ‘extended walks’ used by the tourist industry, and investigated some other walks for their potential to be used in the same way. Outdoor specialist Catrin Thomas was accompanied by experienced IAATO tourist expedition staff member Alex Cowan and the GSGSSI Operations Manager Keiron Fraser to make the assessments.

A regular part of the package offered by some tour ship operators to their guests is the opportunity to do longer walks ashore. A popular one is the route from Fortuna Bay to Stromness (the last leg of the overland journey made by Shackleton, Worsley and Crean). But others are also used such as Maiviken to Grytviken, or Sandebugten to Godthul. The aim of the extended walks assessment was to review the safety of the walk routes, while also minimising the risk of environmental damage and offering the best visitor experience. It is likely the management guidelines for the walks will be updated as a result and new routes proposed.

Jetty survey: Two divers have been looking at the underwater structure of the KEP jetty to see if it remains structurally sound. GSGSSI Operation Manager Keiron Fraser and Government Officer Simon Browning did two dives and found that although the metal piles are heavily encrusted in weed and soft fauna they otherwise look in good order.

Pipit sighting at Grytviken: Late summer is the time for juvenile pipits to spread away from the area in which they fledged to find their own territories, and young birds have been seen in the Grytviken area at this time of year before; nevertheless it was exciting to see Grytviken added to the several new places where pipits have been recorded in the past couple of months. A bird was seen feeding on the shoreline close to the cemetery on March 17th.

The SG Museum’s pipit log was created to help document the return and spread of pipits to areas of the main island recently cleared of rats as part of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project. Rats have previously prevented pipits living and breeding on much of the main island.

The pipit seen at Grytviken on March 17th. Photo Daniel Johnson.
The pipit seen at Grytviken on March 17th. Photo Daniel Johnson.

‘The Whale Catchers’: The April edition of the magazine ‘Ships Monthly’ has a four page article on Salvesen’s whale catcher vessels entitled "The Whale Catchers". The piece includes some good photographs of some of the older ships and an explanation of why certain ship names like Southern Foster were used.

Macquarie Island elephant seals affected by climate change: Australian scientists studying elephant seal breeding colonies on the sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie think the ozone hole is affecting the animals’ breeding success. Climate variability due to the ozone hole can cause more sea ice some years, and when there is more sea ice in the areas where the animals go to feed, their breeding success can be affected.

Photo Patrick Lurcock
Photo Patrick Lurcock

The number of female elephant seals breeding on Macquarie Island isthmus fell nearly 25% from a high of 22,640 in 1988 to 17,228 in 2009. Scientists looked for a correlation between the decline of elephant seals and the weather. Records show that despite ocean warming in the area, in some years the winds are colder, and the cold winds coming off the Antarctic continent lead to more sea ice. The animals tend to feed off the continental shelf. "When there's extra sea ice the seals can't access the continental shelf as readily as when there's either an average or lesser amount of sea ice," said John van den Hoff, Marine Biologist with the Australian Antarctic Division.

Warming of the Southern Ocean and cold winds are predicted to continue as long as the ozone hole remains open and greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, so the scientist expect further changes. The story is not the same in other elephant seal breeding areas: for instance populations on the West Antarctic peninsula are increasing as sea ice in that region declines. The population on South Georgia is thought to be stable, though there has not been a survey of the breeding population on the island for about 15 years.

Info Reuters

Dates For Your Diary

Trailing the Albatross, a talk by the artist Bruce Pearson, will be the main presentation at the South Georgia Association AGM on Friday 16th May. Bruce Pearson is a world-renowned wildlife artist who started his professional career at Bird Island 40 years ago, living and working with wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses. He returned to South Georgia recently by yacht and cruise ship to revitalise his passion for these wonderful ocean wanderers and their magnificent surroundings. The talk will be illustrated with images painted in the field.

Non-members can attend the AGM which will be held at the Royal Overseas League, London.

Tickets cost £18.00 per person.

For enquiries please email Fran Prince.

Reflections on Captain Cook: The National Maritime Museum Cornwall (Falmouth, UK) has a talk entitled ‘Reflections on Captain Cook’. Explore the extraordinary life, personality and career of Captain James Cook. Join David Pollard as he tells the story of Cook’s life from his humble beginnings as the son of a farm labourer, to fame as the man who discovered more of the Earth’s surface than any explorer in history. Discover Cook’s legacy in times of change and divided opinions. Talk starts at 6pm Wednesday March 26th.

Find out more here.

Plymouth Shackleton 100: One of the first events to mark the centenaries of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition will be the sailing of Endurance from Plymouth. The three day event will be centred on the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth, where Shackleton and several of the crew stayed prior to the ship’s departure.

‘Plymouth Shackleton 100’ is from August 6th- 8th and includes a black tie dinner, lectures and shows and a re-enactment of the ship sailing by a tall ship. Register your interest with: Paul Coslett, DCPS Events Organiser

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