South Orkney Islands, Coronation Island
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 27 Nov 2021

South Orkney Islands, Coronation Island, 11/27/2021, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

We were at sea this morning, en route to the South Orkney Islands. We are ahead of a weather system so the seas were relatively calm with only a gentle roll felt on the ship. We enjoyed a presentation by naturalist Javier Cotin on the penguins we have been seeing throughout this voyage. This was followed by a presentation on the epic voyage of the Endurance, given by naturalist Eduardo Shaw.

 

After lunch we arrived at Coronation Island. This island was named by a British sealer, George Powell, in 1821 in honor of the coronation of King George IV. The ship anchored in Shingle Cove where we were protected from the winds off the Southern Ocean. Most of Coronation Island is covered in snow and ice, but this bay had regions that were speckled with colorful lichens, moss, and hairgrass. There were young elephant seals wallowing on sandy beaches and a scattering of Adelie and gentoo penguins. We even found the occasional fur seal. But, perhaps the most spectacular part of this region was the massive hanging glacier that was perched nearly 1000 feet above the coastline. We watched in awe as seracs careened down the rock face and scattered into a plum of dust at the bottom. We could have stayed and watched this glacier all day. Alas, it was time to continue our journey to South Georgia.

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