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Photographer's Note

On the northern flank of South Georgia lies Grytviken, the administrative center of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI), sheltered in Cumberland Bay East. It consists of a cluster of huts and buildings at the head of King Edward Cove. It was the primary of several once-flourishing whaling stations on the island, reaching it's height in the 1960's. Now it is a muddled array of rusted and deserted factories, workshops, hostels and power units with three old steam whalers lying forlornly against the rickety wharfs.

Below this vantage point is the cemetery, which is famous for Sir Earnest Shackleton's grave, but also of interest are the graves of the whalers and sealers, one of which dates as far back as 1838.

Shackleton had returned to South Georgia in order to undertake his fourth expedition, this time to circumnavigate the Antarctic Continent. However while he was on board his ship, The Quest, moored here in King Edward Cove, he died from a heart attack early in the morning on 5th January 1922. At his widow's request, his comrades buried him in Grytviken.

The little Norwegian Church, established by C A Larsen, was dismantled from its original site at Strommen in Norway and re-erected in Grytviken in time for Christmas day 1913. Its two bells which still hang in its steeple were cast in Tonsberg, Norway. After a short while, despite the arrival of a new pastor and the fine, newly-built church, the new young pastor reluctantly admitted: "Christian life unfortunately does not wax strong among whalers".

South Georgia Museum was established in 1992 in Grytviken in what was once the Manager's Villa and is managed by Tim and Pauline Carr.

South Georgia lies 800 miles ESE of the Falkland Islands, while the South Sandwich Islands are 470 miles SE of South Georgia. Argentina made claims to the islands and in 1982 invaded South Georgia, site of a British Antarctic Survey Base; three weeks later British forces recaptured it, also expelling the Argentinians who had lived on the previously uninhabited South Sandwich Islands from 1976. In 1985 all the islands ceased to be governed as dependencies of the Falklands and are now administered by the Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, based in Stanley (Falkland Islands). The British government extended its territorial jurisdiction from 12 to 200 miles offshore in 1993 to conserve fishing stocks. Argentina still maintains its claim to the islands and British naval forces patrol the islands regularly.

I like the contrast between the colors and textures of the red buildings, green vegetation, and blue water, and then the little white church standing in the background.

Kolyamour, jemaflor, tobyh, maurajn, johnhopkins, hajle, verje has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by david r' (trip) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 120] (860)
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