Five Kings and a Gentoo

6" x  12",     Oil on panel,    1994

King and gentoo penguins are common on South Georgia. They are shown basking in the rare sunshine on a stony beach in Fortuna Bay, a fjord on the northeast coast of the island. In the background can be seen the Konig Glacier, draining the high mountains and the snow fields of the Allardyce Range which forms the mountainous spine of South Georgia. A lateral moraine has developed from a tributary glacier on the right. 

It was across this beach that Sir Ernest Shackleton and his two companions tramped in 1916 during their last desperate hours before reaching Stromness Bay Whaling Station at the end of their historic first crossing of the island from King Haakon Bay in 36 hours. This followed their winter, 16 day open-boat journey across the stormy Scotia Sea to seek rescue for the men stranded on Elephant Island after their ship Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea.

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