Adventures, Photo & Video — 14 June 2013 at 4:43 pm

Sam Crimmin in South Georgia

Sam Crimmin is an Emergency Medicine Trainee who headed to South Georgia with British Antartic Survey in 2010. She hadn’t done much photography before. When she returned, she had a portfolio of some of the most beautiful images Adventure Medic had ever come across. Here are some of our favourites. To see the rest, please visit her website.

What Sam said about her trip

South Georgia is a small mountainous island in the sub-Antarctic. Though its latitude is equivalent to the North of Scotland it lies within the Antarctic Convergence and as such experiences a polar climate. It is accessible only by sea.

South Georgia was discovered in 1745 by Captain Cook. He wasn’t impressed. He described the land as ‘savage and horrible’ and went as far as to name its Southern end as Cape Disappointment after turning the tip and realising he had not discovered the sought after Seventh Continent.

The British Antarctic Survey and the Government of South Georgia run two small outposts on this otherwise uninhabited island. The largest of these is at King Edward Point in Cumberland Bay. Also in Cumberland bay is the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken. In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton set off on his ill-fated Imperial Trans- Antarctic expedition from this port. In 1922 he died on the island and is now buried in the Whalers’ graveyard.

As the island’s doctor the medical workload is not onerous. The permanent population peaks at 40 in the summer and reduces to 12 in the winter. In the summer the majority of the workload comes from the tourist industry and in the winter from the fishing trade.

To make up for the lack of patients, the island’s doctor becomes an apprentice in all trades. I hiked over hills and skied up and down peaks to collect science samples. I weighed penguins and fur seal pups. I drove boats, learnt to bake bread, sold stamps and ran a post office. I went on a two-day holiday on a Royal Navy Type-42 destroyer. I learnt photography. I met some amazing people and was fortunate enough to spend a year in a very special place.

South Georgia has had a lasting impact, I can say with confidence it is truly one of the most incredible unspoilt wildernesses on the planet. If you ever get to the opportunity to visit, jump at it. I will return there in January 2013.