a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
There are a range of SUBANTARCTIC islands around the Southern Ocean...
Grytviken is one the more popular landing sites on the island of South Georgia. It is located in King Edward Cove, within the larger Cumberland East Bay, close to where the 'capital' sits (the smallest capital in the world!).
The harbour was founded in 1904 by Norwegian Carl Anton Larsen. It was considered the best on the island and Gryytviken was once the largest whaling site on South Georgia. There are many remains of the station there today.
I visited the Auckland Islands in 2010 and 2011, working as a biologist guide, lecturer and zodiac driver, as part of the expedition team on board Orion.
New Zealand is already an amazing country, with fantastic scenery and some fascinating animals and beautiful plants. But the best part of the country is little visited and hard to get to - the Subantarctic Islands. These are a chain of remote islands that stretch from the end of the South Island well into the Southern Ocean. They are full of wildlife such as seals and penguins. Some have huge colonies, and every island groups has a different set of species, and sometimes even their own endemics.
This island group includes Disappointment Island and Enderby Island.
The large beach here is home to hundreds of angry New Zealand (Hooker's) Sea Lions, the males of which are always slapping each other around. The beach is also good for Yellow-eyed penguins.
The New Zealand subantarctic islands have some unusual endemic flowers. Some of the bigger ones are known as 'megaherbs'. If you walk across the island on the boardwalk, you should get some nice and close views of these special plants.
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.