15th July 2009

The Antarctic Pilot describes South Georgia well.

General description;

South Georgia is a barren, mountainous island laying about 700 miles ESE of Falkland Islands, and has an area of 1450 square miles. It is about 100 miles long between Cooper Island (54 48s 35 47w) off its SE end, and Willis Island, off its NW end, and 20 miles wide, is high and consists of very steep glacier-covered mountains. It presents the features of a deeply dissected upland. The snow line has a general elevation of about 460m but may be as low as 300m along the S coast of the island.

The island is said to have been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci, who possibly sighted it in 1502, and by Antonio de Roche when in command of a British expedition in 1675. It was not explored until Captain Cook made the first survey of the NE Coast between 14th and 23rd January 1775, taking formal possession on 17th January of that year in Possession Bay (54 07s 37 07w).

The coasts, especially the N, are deeply indented, reducing the island in places at the W end to a few hundred meters in width, but the large quantity of loose ice in the bays renders them inconvenient during a great part of the year for a vessel to lie in on account of the calving of large parts of the ice cliffs, which break off and float to sea. The second largest glacier in the land is the Nordenskjold Glacier, in Cumberland East Bay, the largest is the Esmark Glacier in Holmestrand. During summer the heat of the sun causes large pieces to break off the glaciers; the large icebergs, however, originate from Antarctica, but they are too great draught to penetrate far into the bays.

Sue and I at Shackleton’s grave stone with San Aspiring in back ground alongside the loading pier at King Edward Point in Grytviken Harbour. We must call in at KEP before the start of each season for our compliance inspection and receive our license for the new season.

Sue and I at Shackleton’s grave stone with San Aspiring in back ground alongside the loading pier at King Edward Point in Grytviken Harbour. We must call in at KEP before the start of each season for our compliance inspection and receive our license for the new season.

Rgds: John B.

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One Response to “15th July 2009”

  1. Sarah Says:

    “Superhuman effort isn’t worth a damn unless it achieves results.” Ernest Shackleton

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