This was the first real cold snap we had. I’d walked over to Harpon Bay to help the zoologist monitor giant petrel chicks and we were waiting on the beach to be picked up. There’s always a cold wind rushing down off that glacier, hence my walking up and down the beach wearing everything I had with me, flapping my arms like a penguin in an attempt to stay warm.
Photo actually taken by Kieran.
Location: Harpon Bay, Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 13th April 2017. Camera: iPhone 5 back camera. 4.12mm, 1/2500 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50.
With work and stress building up on station the doctor and I grabbed a chance to have a night away on a different peninsula. The next day, one of my best on South Georgia, we got up early and walked across to the other coast to be met by the guys, dropping other people off in the boats.
Our main objective that day was Ellerbeck, a 700m peak that we’d been pushed back from earlier in the year due to thick cloud. It was quite a technical scramble in places and massively worth it for views down over the huge Nordenskjold Glacier.
Photo taken by Fraser.
Location: Ellerbeck, Barff Peninsula, South Georgia. Date: 30th November 2017. Camera: Canon 7D with 11-16mm Tokina lens @ 11mm, plus ND4 grad filter. 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 100.
Near the middle of winter this is about the highest the sun rises above the northern horizon. We took a long walk to climb a short hill (the cols we went over on the way out and back were both higher than the summit of this one). A crisp, sunny, winters day with low cloud sometimes obscuring the views, ensuring they were dramatic.
Location: Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 6th June 2017. Camera: GoPro Hero4, 1/3900 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100.
Firmly in the middle of winter, we took advantage of clear weather and good snow to tackle the spectacular Petrel Peak; the pyramid at the top of the photo. There are actually two peaks to Petrel and this one, the marginally lower, is fairly easy to access from the other side. Easy in summer anyway, in winter it’s a bit more of a challenge and the whole day required putting axe and crampon skills to the test.
Location: Thatcher Peninsula, Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 1st July 2017. Camera: iPhone5 back camera. 4.12mm, 1/1150 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50.
The doctor and I were on a quick holiday taking in St Andrews Bay and trying to knock off all the named peaks on the south end of the Barff Peninsula. This one, whose name I annoyingly can’t remember, is only 300m or so but involved quite a bit of route-finding and sketchy scrambling over crumbly rock. The beauty of South Georgia is that there’s probably only ever been a handful of people summited this one as it’s also quite out of the way.
Location: Barff Peninsula, South Georgia. Date: 5th October 2017. Camera: iPhone5 back camera. 4.12mm, 1/2900 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50.
Almost perfect skiing conditions; the light was a bit flat but with snow this good it didn’t matter as you could turn anywhere. The doc and I headed out to explore a few of the nearby peaks, managing one I hadn’t yet walked up, and obviously enjoying the descent back to station. Here above Grytviken the sun almost broke through so we ended up adding an extra few km loop before we were back just in time for dinner.
Location: Grytviken, Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 19th August 2017. Camera: iPhone5 back camera. 4.12mm, 1/5400 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50.
Just up from our research station, at the entrance to Cumberland Bay East, is Hope Point. This is where Shackleton’s men erected a memorial to The Boss shortly after his death, although he is buried in the cemetery around the other side of the bay.
This was a beautifully clear night to appreciate the universe and his legacy.
Location: Hope Point, Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 13th June 2017. Camera: Canon 7D with 11-16mm Tokina lens @ 11mm. 30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600.
We’d been waiting a few weeks for a clear, moonless night to practice some star photography. We probably got half an hour here before clouds started to appear, making the Milky Way slightly less amazing. Still, I was round at Grytviken anyway so decided to have a go at photographing the whaling station at night. The rusting boilers, buckets and flensing stations show up in such bold colours under torchlight it looks quite different from the daytime.
Location: Grytviken, Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 23rd February 2018. Camera: Canon 7D with 11-16mm Tokina lens @ 11mm. 30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000.
To clear the Christmas booze and food we headed up Mount Hodges. It was actually a lovely clear day apart from the top 50m, when the cloud closed in and it began snowing on us. Below you can make out the old whaling station at Grytviken being visited by a cruise ship.
Location: Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 26th December 2016. Camera: Canon 7D with 11-16mm Tokina lens @ 11mm. 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 100.
The summit of Mount Hodges, standing 605m above Grytviken, on a splendid midwinter afternoon. A good trip up there with the station leader and doctor.
Location: Cumberland Bay, South Georgia. Date: 19th June 2016. Camera: Canon 7D with 17-70mm Sigma lens @ 17mm, plus ND4 grad filter. 1/80 sec, f/16, ISO 320.