The Subantarctic Island Where Monsters Still Exist
You are in a Zodiac and the highly anticipated moment of your first step ashore on South Georgia is fast approaching. As the objects on land become clearer in your view, you realize they are moving. The landscape is alive. Your Zodiac pulls up to a sandy beach and you disembark. Before you is a phalanx of restless animal bodies, some rotund and blubbery, some sleek and furry. Your eye is drawn to a gigantic figure looming commandingly over the throng. A sonorous, gurgling bellow is heard above the din of groans and howls. “That’s the beachmaster,” the expedition leader says. “Stay clear of him!” This imposing fellow is the first of many huge elephant seals you will see on your Antarctic cruise to South Georgia.