Soon after ending our land visit at Cooper Bay, we leave South Georgia Island in our wake and begin sailing southwest towards the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea. I am somewhat melancholy. South Georgia Island is fantastic, rich with wildlife and spectacular terrain, surrounded by open ocean on all sides, and so remote. I will return. There is so much I have not seen here that I am already thinking about when I can schedule the time for another trip out to this remarkable island.
Our next destination is the South Orkney Islands, a natural stopping point since it is almost directly inline with our route to Antarctica and roughly halfway. We should be there in about 36 hours. As we sail, we are passing through some significant open ocean weather, which means clouds! There are beautiful, ever-changing cloud formations on all points of the compass, some dark, ominous and threatening. We also begin to see our first icebergs of the trip, massive tabular bergs that hint at the riot of ice that is to come as we make our way south in the days ahead. I spend much of my time on deck, bundled up against the wind and increasing chilly weather, trying to make appealing photographs of the clouds, icebergs, sea and sky.