Royal Navy frigate visits British overseas territory of South Georgia

Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy frigate HMS Portland recently spent three days patrolling the remote island chain of South Georgia within her nine-month deployment.

The British overseas territory lies about 850 miles from the Falklands and just 900 miles from the northernmost tip of Antarctica and receives regular visits from Royal Navy vessels.

Patrol ship HMS Clyde called in last year to provide reassurance and support to the small population and British Antarctic Survey scientists.

HMS Portland is in the closing weeks of a nine-month deployment which began in the Gulf and Indian Ocean, joining in the international naval effort dealing with terrorism, piracy and drug-running.

After a month in South Africa to break up the lengthy period away and carry out maintenance on the ship, the frigate resumed her patrols, this time in the South Atlantic and briefly in the Pacific, flying the flag for the country and British industry in Chile.

During the first day of their stay in South Georgia sailors climbed Foxtail Peak. On the second day, they anchored in Fortuna Bay where crew decided to open the world’s most southerly pizza take-away. On the flight deck. With outside temperatures hovering at zero.

The final stop of the brief visit was Cumberland East Bay and South Georgia’s ‘capital’, the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken.

At nearby King Edward Point crew met the British Antarctic Survey team and offered them a tour of the frigate.

Upon sailing, the ship’s company posed for a photo in front of the world-famous Nordenskjold Glacier. The youngest sailor, Engineering Technician Matthew Jeacock, who turned 18 over Christmas, had the honour of posing on top of the 4.5in gun.

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