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HMS Endurance Carrys Out Tasking in South Georgia

HMS Endurance is now in South Georgia for her next operational period. The ship has been carrying out numerous diving operations including the BBC diving for a new programme called Frozen Planet. The BBC have also been using the ships helicopter to film the area  from above the surface and there has been the transfer of SBES (Young Explorers organsiation) ashore to carry out scientific investigations on glaciers and wildlife here. Also, surveying of the seabed on the bridge is constantly occurring and there has been a little surveying happening in the detached Survey Motor Boats, although the area being surveyed was full of kelp, so could not be surveyed as thoroughly as we had unfortunately hoped.

Another effort that has been acheived is that the Royal Marines have fantastically completed Shackleton’s walk in 4 days. It was four days cross country skiing and hiking up and down mountainous terrain.  They  were following in Shackleton’s footsteps of his famous mission to get across South Georgia to find help to rescue his stranded crew from Elephant Island at the Antarctic Peninsula. This was after he and some of the strongest of the crew had rowed from the island to South Georgia in the lifeboat James Caird (one of our suvey boats is named after her) using just a sextant for navigation across the rough seas.  

Today, the ship stopped at Stromness where the Royal Marines finished their emotional journey and the ships company (myself included) had the opportunity to get ashore to see the place where he came for help. There are still the ruins of the whaling station there and there are many Fur Seals, which were quite aggressive with each other over their territory and we had to keep our distance as they had their young to protect and it would have disturbed them to get too close and also have been dangerous. However, they were interesting to see and the pups were very cute and fluffy as you would expect.

There were also a number of King Penguins about. Their yellow necks gives them a very striking appearance making them quite beautiful. I saw them trying to cross a stream and they all lined up in a queue and crossed systematically, so it was fascinating to see wildlife taking a similar approach to matters as humans sometimes do.

Well the ship has now finished in the area and we are off for more tasking tomorrow. 

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