We made it to the South Orkney Islands in time for a post-breakfast exploration of Shingle Cove on Coronation Island. The island was given this name by British sealer George Powell, one of the first two visitors to the island in 1821. He discovered the island during the year of the coronation of King George IV.
The islands make up a lonely and isolated volcanic archipelago located along the southern boundary of the Scotia Arc. The islands were named for the Orkney Islands in Scotland, which are located at approximately the same latitude north as these islands are south (about 60 degrees latitude). This author had the privilege and honor of visiting both the northern and southern island groups this year, as a naturalist on National Geographic Explorer in July and now on National Geographic Endurance in the Scotia Sea.
We explored the cove by foot and via Zodiacs in two rounds of a little over an hour each. Guests going ashore had a chance to enjoy an Adelie penguin colony of a few hundred nesting pairs. Guests had an opportunity to explore more of the bay via Zodiac tours led by staff naturalists. The bay contained multiple icebergs of various sizes, some serving as resting spots for Adelies.
While we enjoyed a lunch of delicious pizza and pasta dishes, the ship relocated to Sandefjord Bay. Here we spent about an hour and a half exploring the bay during a Zodiac tour. We viewed some of the many hundreds of thousands of chinstrap penguins, as well as a variety of other seabird species and seals.
Everyone was back aboard by 5:00 PM in time to get ready for our evening cocktail hour with a recap of the day from our staff naturalists. This was followed by a traditional Romanian dinner, compliments of our Romanian executive chef Bogdan Draghici.