Latitude54° 00′ S
Longitude37° 58′ W
Located at the northwestern end of South Georgia on the Paryadin Peninsula, Elsehul or Else Cove (formerly Paddock Cove) contains a microcosm of South Georgia’s wildlife. These include three nesting albatross species, three penguin species, fur and elephant seals as well as shags, terns, giant petrels and many more. The folded sedimentary cliffs and tussac-covered slopes form a dense and diverse amphitheater, full of animals.
Upon entering this cove, passing Post Rock on one side and Cape Pride on the other, visitors are surrounded by the sounds of South Georgia’s wild residents. In the outer section of the cove there are macaroni penguins entering and exiting the water onto the exposed sedimentary rock outcrops. Kelp sways with the swell of the ocean, and black-browed, grey-headed and light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest on the cliffs above. Passing through the rock promontories of The Knob and Pull Point, you enter the inner harbor, packed full of fur seals jostling for space on the beaches and surrounding tussac mounds. The gradual sloping terrain of this inner harbor makes it a perfect spot for these seals and is one of the largest breeding grounds on the island. There are often elephant seals hauled out on the shore as well, particularly in Joke Cove. 3 sealer’s try pots (small iron boiling pots used to render blubber into oil) are relics of early 19th century sealing. Filling the remaining space on the shores are small colonies of gentoo and king penguins. The sheer number of fur seals and other wildlife means that often this site is best visited by zodiac cruise.
Confirmed breeders: elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella).
Confirmed breeders: Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata), grey headed albatross (Thalassararche crysostoma),black browed albatross (Thalassararche melanophrys), giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus), brown skua (Catharacta lonnbergi), Antarctic tern (Sterna vittatae georgiae).
Beds of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and a number of isolated reefs fringe the coastline, while thick growths of Durvillaea antarctica kelp are found at the waterline of cliff faces.
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