This island is situated about 2000 km south-east of Cape Town and smack bang in the “Roaring Forties” at 48 degrees south. The weather is treacherous, to say the least. Howling westerly winds that whip around the Southern Ocean at full throttle, with no continents to block their path and slow them down. The rain is torrential and perpetual! In fact the inclemency makes it pretty inhospitable to people: Think fog, snow, howling winds and rain – an average annual temperature of 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit). Summer is somewhat of a euphemism!
You can get to the base by one of two means: raft and rickety looking crane or chopper – I choose chopper any day!!!
There are no trees the climate is totally hostile to trees – they simply cannot survive. The grassy plains are boggy mires wherever you are you are knee deep in swamp, dense with ferns and moss. Here is a photo on a rare sunny moment!
I love the swampy swamps, the craggy crags, the sheer cliffs, the eaten out caves, the black volcanic soil… I could go on!
And I’m going to!
Because of the hostile environment it is pretty much uninhabited by people, there is a small team of weather personnel and scientists, about 14 people for most of the year.
Because of the lack of humans the island has the most the amazing wildlife that is completely unafraid of dangerous humans. A short amble can leave you bumping into a couple of business men… all they need is a brief case!
You can trip over a sea lion or two if you aren’t very observant:
Their are heaps of seabirds and some of the biggest penguin colonies in the world. Every type of penguin you can imagine. And you can amble amidst the King Penguins!
But my favorite thing about visiting the island was the albatrosses, you can walk right up to them even the babies…
Look at this baby (excuse the photo – think torrential rain!)…
That’s it – time to go home…
Hope you enjoyed the trip!!!