Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sightseeing in South Georgia by Melanie Leng

Me at Grytviken sat on old whale bones with the James Clarke Ross in the background.

Grytviken church was originally from Norway and was dismantled
and brought to South Georgia in 1913, the church sits amongst
the rusting remains of the old whaling station of Grytviken


Ernest Shackleton's grave
I am back on board the Polarstern after an amazing few weeks on South Georgia. Today we visited the old whaling station of Grytviken next to the British Antarctic Survey’s research base at King Edward Point. The old whaling station sits rusting away in the harbour between two headlands of Hope Point and Hobart Rock in the King Edward Cove. South Georgia’s whaling industry was established in 1904 by Norwegian sealer and whaler Carl Anton Larsen, prior to that fishing had been a purely at sea activity. The whaling industry subsequently removed 175,000 whales from South Georgia waters. Amongst the ruins of the whalers sits the Grytviken church (est 1913) and the South Georgia museum. The museum is exceptional with mainly whaling-orientated exhibitions and memorabilia from past times. There is also information about the history of the island and its’ wildlife. Close by is the whalers’ cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
   

The South Georgia museum was established in 1992 by Nigel Bonner,
a previous deputy director of the British Antarctic Survey





Information for this piece came from Sally Poncet and Kim Crosbie’s book: A visitors guide to South Georgia.

Mel Leng 


Melanie Leng is on the final stages of an expedition to South Georgia, see her previous blogs, and follow her on twitter @MelJLeng

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