An intense maritime activity was registered in South Georgia during the month of January including cruise and research vessels, the British Antarctic Survey ship “RRS James Clark Ross”, several yachts and HMS Gloucester, reports the latest South Georgia newsletter.
Among the distinguished visitors were Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands Commodore Thicknesse and his wife who travelled from the Falkland Islands.
The number of cruise ships calling in South Georgia totalled ten, including the large ship “The World” which is unusual in that it has residents living on board. One vessel, the 100 passenger “Marina Svetaeva” was making its first ever call to South Georgia so was joined by a Government Observer.
Two research ships made calls. The South African weather ship “SA Agulhas” came via the South Sandwich Islands where they had put people ashore on Southern Thule to service an automatic weather station. On early January they delivered six weather buoys which will be loaded on the SG Fishery Patrol Vessel “Pharos SG” to be deployed at sea during the winter months.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ship “RRS James Clark Ross” (“JCR”) anchored on January 15th. High winds prevented casual trips ashore for those aboard, but two people who needed to work at the base at King Edward Point (KEP) were able to get ashore. The ship embarked two others from KEP and left later the same day.
There were four yachts in the area during January, one private and three on charter. “Golden Fleece” called in en route to the South Sandwich Islands. As well as the principal charterer, a photographer, there were also three scientists aboard, including one sponsored by GSGSSI, who were going to carry out bird surveys and other scientific sampling.
Yacht “Australis” had ten people aboard, including a film crew who are making a 3D penguin film.
Finally “HMS Gloucester” and “RFA Black Rover” on duty patrols in the area visited Grytviken between 20th and 24th January. The military ships brought several VIP visitors of note, including Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands Commodore Thicknesse and his wife.