The South Georgia tourist season is drawing to a close with just one cruise ship left to visit in early April, according to the latest edition of the South Georgia Newsletter.
Five cruise ships visited during March, including “Polar Pioneer” which was supporting a party of nine adventurers on a guided 'Shackleton Crossing' from King Haakon Bay to Stromness. The crossing was successful and afterwards the guides reported that, though they had had the best weather they had experienced on the route so far, they had also had the worst ice conditions that they had ever seen on the Crean Glacier, above Possession Bay.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ship “RRS Shackleton” made the final call to the two South Georgia bases for this season, arriving in King Edward Cove on March 25th. The vessel is one of the few that visits the Island that could load the huge Volvo digger that has been on the Island since being bought in for the 2003 Remediation Project, when it was used to dismantle dangerously unstable parts of the old whaling station at Grytviken. The vehicle was the heaviest thing the ship had lifted with its crane other than the crane 'load test'.
Five yachts were around the Island this month. The private yacht “Wanderer III” sailed for St Helena on March 8th after a stay of just over two years around the Island. The tiny historic wooden yacht was reported to have safely reached Tristan da Cunha by the end of the month.
Meanwhile the start of the toothfish season was heralded with the arrival of longliner Argos Georgia at KE Cove on March 28th Mar. After inspection and licensing she sailed for the South Sandwich Island fishery.