This entry is part 31 of 47 in the series British Antarctic Survey
Grytviken and King Edward Point from the top of Mount Hodges

Grytviken and King Edward Point from the top of Mount Hodges

As you all know, I live at King Edward Point, the headquarters of the British Antarctic Survey on South Georgia. It is also home to the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and within the bay, we also have a historic whaling station called Grytviken.

An old whaling ship on the South Georgian shores

An old whaling ship on the South Georgian shores

Grytviken was first established by Carl Larsen in 1904 and used as a station for the hunting of whales and elephant seals. Grytviken was home to 300 people at peak running but was thankfully closed down in 1966.

Ernest Shackleton Research Vessel with Grytviken and Mount Hodges behind

Ernest Shackleton Research Vessel with Grytviken and Mount Hodges behind

Now much of the station is rusting away but we have a building and museum team based here during the summer months, whose job it is to maintain the buildings and displays for visiting tourists.

South Georgia Museum run by SG Heritage Trust

South Georgia Museum run by SG Heritage Trust

Many tourists come to Grytviken, not only to see the old whaling station but also because of its relevance to Shackleton. When Shackleton and his men were famously trapped on their ship Endurance before escaping to Elephant Island, he and several members of his crew sailed for help and reached the shores of South Georgia. After they had traipsed across the mountains and glaciers of South Georgia, they eventually reached Grytviken from where they were able to launch a rescue mission.

Shackletons Grave at the cemetery

Shackletons Grave at the cemetery where many tourists come to toast ‘the boss’

Back of Shackletons grave with Mount Duse in the background. 'I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize... Robert Browning

Back of Shackleton’s grave with Mount Duse in the background. The inscription reads, “I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize … Robert Browning”

Another of Grytviken’s attractions is the post office!…

South Georgia's postbox

South Georgia’s postbox

Mount Hodges is 602m and towers behind Grytviken and offers incredible views above the whaling station across the entire Thatcher Peninsula.

View of Mont Duse, King Edward Point and Cumberland Bay

View of Mont Duse, King Edward Point and Cumberland Bay

View of Maiviken and Harpon from Hodges

View of Maiviken and Harpon from Hodges

View of Maiviken from an old Argentinian bunker on the back of Hodges, built during the Falklands war.

View of Maiviken from an old Argentinian bunker on the back of Hodges, built during the Falklands war

Series Navigation<< Another Science TripTwilight At St Andrews Bay >>
Share

One thought on “Grytviken Whaling Station

  1. Hi Jamie,
    Interesting stuff. Does the Ernest Shackelton go to Dunedin at all? Have seen a very similar boat passing the young albatross on the web cam at the Heads to Dunedin harbour.

    Great views as you say.

    Pete

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website