“Chances are if you’re over fifty you’ve eaten whale and used whale products,” our host explained. Because although whale meat itself was never popular in the US whales’ other products were of a more surreptitious nature, finding their way into products across the board from various food stuffs to lubricants, soaps, an important ingredient in munitions and as a pre-plastic plastic-like substance.
Grytviken was just one of six whale stations on South Georgia and by itself employed up to 300 men. During its peak production years it could process up to thirty whales every day – when considering the 64 year life (1902-1966) that equates to a lot of whale. The reason for its demise was the advent of factory whale ships that could roam the Southern Ocean and process the whales most efficiently on board a practice that still occurs today.
The ruins themselves are a photogenic blend of chaos and structure, color and grey. Walking through them one must take their time to look and see the many perspectives that exist only through disorder of decay.