The Journey of a lifetime – Part 2
The first few days on board have been particularly interesting, while we were at sea in the middle of a big nothing. Seeing and feeling the waves, thinking about the past, present and future of almost everything, but especially about the voyage itself. The anticipation during these first days at sea is enormous because you are not aware of what might unfold in the coming days and weeks. For now, the horizon is our "companion de route" that stretches as far as the eye can see.
Guidance by professionals
The first lecture immediately aroused the interest of almost all the passengers on the HANSEATIC Inspiration. Scottish biologist Sylvia Stevens took us on a passionate presentation about fauna, flora and history on the island of South Georgia and what we were about to discover once we arrived for this absolute highlight of our journey in the polar region. Marine mammals and seabirds, as well as her passion for conservation, are the main focus of her stories. Both history and the future are covered. From the hard-hitting stories about whaling to the optimistic ones about the repopulation of fur seals. The information gives you an idea of what to expect and what has happened in the past.
Did you know that there were reindeer on South Georgia until 2014? Brought by whalers from Norway to provide food for the whaling stations. They brought in these non-native species and then removed the herds to restore conservation for the future.
Our second lecture gave us an insight into geology and mineralogy in general. Chemistry is not really my strong suit, but Dr Hans-Joachim Lauenstein's energetic explanations about igneous rocks, sediments, temperature and pressure and his fondness for rocks, quartz and all the other material found in the soil, gave you the basis to understand and look beyond what lies on the surface. But nothing beats seeing it all up close. The HANSEATIC Inspiration took us ashore several times via Zodiac boats to discover the absolute beauty of the island and its inhabitants.
Although the island appears very inhospitable, it can be called home to millions of birds (giant elephants, albatrosses, blue tits, etc.), fur seals and elephant seals. Huge numbers within each species, but not so many species.
There is much more to come in the coming days. Fortuna Bay, Vortex Island and the further discovery of the Antarctic Peninsula.