Gallery 2 - The whaling stations of Grytviken, Leith Harbour, and Stromness Harbour. We can not forget the huge contribution to the conservation of the history of the whaling industry by Tim and Pauline Carr, and The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
We start at King Edward Point and Grytviken. All arrivals in South Georgia must undergo Customs and immigration checks here. Passport stamps are also available. There is a small garrison at King Edward Point, but the only people who are permanent residents on the Island are Tim and Pauline Carr who run and maintain the Whaling Museum in Grytviken. The oldest of the whaling stations, Grytviken was founded in November 1904 by Captain Carl Anton Larsen. (pictured left) The old Manager's house at Grytviken was refurbished and now houses the museum. The whaling stations had their own power generating plant, but Grytviken also boasted water driven turbines fed from the lake above, as well as diesel driven sets. Grytviken officially closed in December 1964.
The largest of the whaling stations is Leith Harbour. Leith Harbour operated as a shore station from it's inception in 1909 till it closed in 1965. Factory ships also operated in Leith Harbour. Leith is a huge complex with generating stations, boiler plants and even a large well appointed hospital. We used to maintain the mooring at Leith Harbour, but a few years ago it was lifted and brought back to the Falkland Islands.
Stromness Harbour is a large repair yard and not a whaling station like the others. It had originally been an operational whaling station. Set up in 1907 as a floating factory site, the shore station being built in 1912. Stromness operated as a whaling station from 1912 to 1931 when conversion was undertaken. The visual clue being that there is no flensing plan which all the shore stations had. There are vast workshops, machine shops and a foundry. At the time the men boasted that they could virtually build a ship in it's entirety. There were vast amounts of spares kept at Stromness and it is sad to see boxes containing (what was at the time) new radar sets etc. which have been smashed and vandalized. All operations ceased at Stromness Harbour after the 1960 / 1961 season.
Other whaling stations (not shown) were sited