Grytviken whaling station...

as seen from above the restored church, on the return walk from Maiviken, a nearby historic sealing station.

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Inside the museum, a juvenile Wandering Albatross with a nine foot wingspan!

Inside the museum, a juvenile Wandering Albatross with a nine foot wingspan!

Industrial remains of the early 20th century whaling station.

Industrial remains of the early 20th century whaling station.

Expedition team member Patrick Demus and me at the pass between Grytviken and Maiviken. I’m trying to convince the guests that this German-speaking Austrian fellow is my nephew!

Expedition team member Patrick Demus and me at the pass between Grytviken and Maiviken. I’m trying to convince the guests that this German-speaking Austrian fellow is my nephew!

Panoramic view of Stromness...

a historic whaling station to which Sir Ernest Shackleton returned after his epic adventure in 1916. It’s from here that the rescue of the men on Elephant Island was launched.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Beginning the short walk from Stromness to Shackleton’s waterfall, one mile up the valley.

Beginning the short walk from Stromness to Shackleton’s waterfall, one mile up the valley.

Shackleton’s waterfall, the last obstacle on the crossing of South Georgia.

Shackleton’s waterfall, the last obstacle on the crossing of South Georgia.

My reflection in an Antarctic fur seal’s eye.

My reflection in an Antarctic fur seal’s eye.

Sir Ernest Shackleton wrote the final entry in his log...

on the evening of 4 January 1922, as his ship lay anchored in the Grytviken harbor on South Georgia. Sadly, later that night he succumbed to a heart attack and died in the place he loved most. I used an astronomical charting program to determine, for that night at that location, the star he likely saw was Sirius, the brightest star in the evening sky.

Page from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s log book, courtesy Scott Polar Institute.

Page from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s log book, courtesy Scott Polar Institute.

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