Wings Over Leith

24" x 18", Oil on Canvas, 1991

A light-mantled sooty albatross circles over Leith Harbour Whaling Station, Stromness Bay, South Georgia. It nests in small colonies among clumps of tussock grass covering the steep windswept seaward- facing slopes above precipitous cliffs overlooking the wild South Atlantic Ocean.

The Allardyce Range in the distance forms the mountainous spine to this sub-Antarctic island.

Although South Georgia lies in the southern hemisphere at a latitude equivalent to North Yorkshire in the north, it experiences a climate more equivalent to that of Svalbard (Spitsbergen) and is heavily glacierized with a deeply incised fjord coastline. It is approximately 160 km long and averages some 32 km in width with peaks rising to 2934 m, Mt Paget the highest point.

Leith Harbour Whaling Station was the site of the illegal scrap metal recovery operation run by the Argentine Navy as a cover in preparation to the invasion of South Georgia at the start of the Falklands war in 1982.

 

 

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