Prince Olav Harbour

Tags: Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia

Date: December 5, 2022

Prince Olav Harbour is mostly known for its whaling station. Operation began in 1911 and the bay is named for Prince Olav who later became Olav V of Norway.

The landscape is dramatic:

At the water's edge you can see the remains of the old whaling station:

The operation started as a floating factory which was quite common. All the work with processing the caught whales was done on one or more ships. In 1916, the shore station was set up and it was used until 1931.

Around 1912, an old decommissioned ship was towed here from South Africa to serve as storage for coal. The ship called Brutus was beached on purpose. This is what is left of her today:

Lots of fur seals on the beach:

Here a few dark seal pups are visible between the lighter colored adult seals:

The seals were so numerous that we were not able to go ashore and instead did a dinghy cruise along the shore.

A couple of seals in the water:

Notice that these seals have ears. Seals are divided in three evolutionary groups: earless seals, eared seals and walruses. The earless seals are also called true seals and the elephant seals (that we saw at Peggotty Bluff) are earless seals. There is only one species of walrus and it lives in the northern arctic regions. The eared seals comprise both sea lions and fur seals. The fur seals around here are Antarctic fur seals.

A skua in the air:

A giant petrel on the water:

Their wingspan is around 2 meters.