Falklands guardian HMS Clyde braved spring storms to pay her first visit of the Austral summer to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia.
The patrol ship crossed 850 miles of ocean to reach the remote island – part of its domain as the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Falklands – to work with British Antarctic Survey scientists and generally fly the flag for the UK.
After arriving at King Edward Point in the island’s ‘capital’ Grytviken, Clyde’s 40 sailors were briefed on ‘biosecurity’ – making sure they didn’t harm the island’s fragile environment and its many rare species when stepping ashore.
The island sits in the middle of the ‘Furious Fifties’ – the latitude where the storms and swell run around the globe uninterrupted, apart from a few small islands like South Georgia.
Afterwards HMS Clyde sailed out into Cumberland Bay – the huge natural harbour off Grytviken – to ride out an 18-hour storm with gusts of over 90 knots.
When it had passed, the ship spied a window of opportunity between the spring gales for some navigational training by heading down the east coast to scenic Drygalski Fjord, where rock and ice meet the sea in a series of jagged peaks and huge glaciers at the southernmost tip of the island.
Press release, Image: UK Navy