Synchronicity - Fortuna Bay, South Georgia

16 x 36 inches,  oil on canvas,  2011     

A pair of light mantled sooty albatross wheel in synchronous courtship flight over the blue waters at the entrance of Fortuna Bay, South Georgia.  Beyond their wings and looking south-westerly lies the König Glacier, with long lateral moraines and displaying signs of significant recession.  

On the left is the prominent Fortuna Peak 385m overlooking the entrance of Fortuna Bay.  Opposite lie the lower slopes of Best Peak 600m.  A number of  magnificent peaks form the Allardyce Range, the central mountainous spine of the island, beyond which a menacing bank of grey cloud is bringing in yet more cloudy weather from the stormy Scotia sea on the other side of the island.  To the left of the rear albatross' upper wing is Mt Copestake, 655m and rising beyond is a precipitous ridge forming several peaks known as the Three Brothers, the highest of which is 2008m.  To the right is Sorlle Buttress, 1370m and further north is Mt Spaaman, 1940m .  In front of Sorlle Buttress is Admiralty Peak 945m, with Breakwind Ridge, lying between it and the lower slopes of Best Peak.

On  20th May 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton accompanied by Frank Worsley and Tom Crean trudged across the moraine at the foot of the König Glacier as he crossed the head of Fortuna Bay on his trek to Stromness Whaling Station.  They were almost at the end of their momentous march across the island to secure rescue for the three men left behind in King Haakon Bay, and those still marooned on Elephant Island some 1280 km away across the tempestuous Scotia Sea.

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