South Georgia Shag Rocks

Shag Rocks, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks


After visiting the Magellanic penguins and Rockhopper colonies on Bleaker Island of Falkland Islands, the A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Cruise ship spent the next two days on Scotia Sea of the South Atlantic Ocean heading toward South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. On the way, we passed by a famous landmark—Shag Rocks—the only sizeable outcrop on the north Scotia Ridge located northwest of South Georgia.

The Shag Rocks (Spanish: Islas Aurora) are six small islands in the westernmost extreme of South Georgia, 240 km (150 mi) west of the main island of South Georgia and 1,000 km (620 mi) off the Falkland Islands. The Shag Rocks are mainly a habitat for sea birds, such as shags, prions, and albatrosses. Because those little islands are positioned approximately along the Antarctic Convergence, sightings of other magnificent marine life such as whales are also very common. At the Antarctic Convergence, the warmer waters from the Equator are mixed with the colder waters from the Antarctica, creating turbulent flows that disturb the nutrient-rich ocean floors and push the nutrients (krills, etc) upward to the ocean surface. This allows the whales and seabirds to feed on krills on ocean surface and explains the prevalent sightings of whales in this area. We saw humpback whales and fin whales on this trip by the Shag Rocks. Other wildlife are imperial shags, prion, and wandering albatross.

Itinerary – At Scotia Sea: En Route to South Georgia

Lecture Series

  1. The Seals of the Antarctic
  2. Evolution of the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica: From Jurassic Park to Ice Age III
  3. Photographing Antarctica
  4. Birds in Tuxedos
  5. IAATO Guidelines
  6. The Island of South Georgia: The Jewel in the Crown
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Today ship position. The map shows Le Boreal is sailing on Scotia Sea, leaving Falkland Islands and heading to South Georgia Islands.

Lecture Series on South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Lecture series on deck 4 of Le Boreal.

Lecture Series on IAATO Guidelines - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Lecture series about IAATO Guidelines.

Social Gathering - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Social times.


Antarctic Convergence


No matter from where you sail to see the magnificence of Antarctica, at some point on your voyage you’ll pass over the Antarctic Convergence, or the Polar Front as it is sometimes named. The ocean south of the Convergence differs greatly from northern waters in salinity and temperature. Colder, less saline Antarctic surface water flows northward from the continent meeting warmer, saltier water flowing southward from the South Pacific, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Where these two water masses meet and mix, a denser layer is created and sinks, flowing northward. The Convergence is considered the biological boundary of Antarctica.

The exact location of the Convergence varies slightly throughout the year and from year to year. Despite what you may read, there is very little sign that you are crossing the Convergence. The sea does not get rougher and there is usually no change in its appearance. The primary indicator is a sudden dip in the water temperature, a change that the ship’s instruments will detect. The sea temperature may drop up to 5oC / 9oF in just two hours, over a distance of about 32 kilometers / 20 miles. If you spend time out on deck you’ll notice the air is appreciably chillier.

An important feature of the Southern Ocean is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This is the world’s biggest ocean current flowing eastwards at the rate of 153 million cubic meters / 5,403,143,930 cubic feet per second, about 1000x the flow of the Amazon River.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia on Scotia Sea.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia, as viewed from Le Boreal Antarctica Ship.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia, as viewed from Le Boreal Antarctica Ship.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia, as viewed from Le Boreal Antarctica Ship.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia at different view angles.


Humpback Whale Sighting


Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Humpback whales swimming by the Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Four humpback whales swimming by the Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: humpback whales at the Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: humpback whales at the Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: The captain was steering the ship around to search for other whales at Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sea birds flying at Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: We spent almost an hour at Shag Rocks of South Georgia for whale watching.

Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: We spent almost an hour at Shag Rocks of South Georgia for whale watching.


Fin Whale Sighting


Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Fin whales!!!

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Just when Le Boreal was about to leave Shag Rocks of South Georgia, we saw fin whales.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Fin whales at Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Fin whales at Shag Rocks of South Georgia.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Shag Rocks of South Georgia is a whale paradise.

Whale Watching at Shag Rocks of Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: lots of whales.

Meals – At Scotia Sea: En Route to South Georgia

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Sunset at Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sunset at Scotia Sea of South Georgia. Tomorrow morning, we will arrive at the main island of South Georgia—the King Penguin Paradise. Yeah~~~

Sunset at Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sunset at Scotia Sea of South Georgia

Sunset at Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sunset at Scotia Sea of South Georgia

Sunset at Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sunset at Scotia Sea of South Georgia

Sunset at Scotia Sea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - A&K Le Boreal Antarctica Expedition Trip | FollowPanda.COM

January 10, 2014: Sunset at Scotia Sea of South Georgia

Back to Antarctic Expedition to read other destinations of the trip.

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