Grytviken - Ghost Town....

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Old 07-Apr-2010
Grytviken - Ghost Town....

Grytviken is the principal settlement in the United Kingdom territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic. It was so named by a 1902 Swedish surveyor who found old English try pots used to render seal oil at the site. It is the best harbour on the island, consisting of a bay (King Edward Cove) within a bay (Cumberland East Bay). The site is very sheltered, provides a substantial area of flat land suitable for building on, and has a good supply of fresh water.
The settlement at Grytviken was established on November 16, 1904, by the Norwegian sea captain Carl Anton Larsen as a whaling station for his Compa??a Argentina de Pesca (Argentine Fishing Company). It was phenomenally successful, with 195 whales taken in the first season alone. The whalers utilized every part of the animals - the blubber, meat, bones and viscera were cooked to extract the oil and the bones and meat were turned into fertilizer and fodder. Elephant seals were also hunted for their blubber. Around 300 men worked at the station during its heyday, operating during the southern summer from October to March. A few remained over the winter to maintain the boats and factory. Every few months a transport ship would bring essential supplies to the station and take away the oil and other produce.
The station's church is the only building which retains its original purpose, and is still used occasionally for services. There have been several marriages in Grytviken, with the first one being registered on 24 February 1932, between A.G.N. Jones and Vera Riches, and a most recent one on 19 February 2006 between Peter W. Damisch and Lesley J. Friedsam. January 28, 2007 a service was conducted in remembrance of Anders Hansen (Norwegian whaler buried at Grytviken cemetery in 1943) and to celebrate his great-great- grandson Axel Watt? Eide's baptism occurring in Oslo, Norway the same day.
Grytviken is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting Antarctica, and tourists usually land to visit Shackleton's grave. There is a small museum in part of the former whaling station, which is open during the summer tourism season.

Old 08-Apr-2010
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