After setting sail from Paradise Bay of the Antarctic Peninsula, we arrived bright and early at Whaler’s Bay of Deception Island, part of the South Shetland Islands. The horseshoe-shaped Deception Island has an active volcano and hot springs which is unusual in this cold and desolate part of the world. It is said that the island’s name comes from the very narrow hidden opening into the flooded caldera known as Neptune’s Bellows. The rock formations on both sides are impressive when sailing through. About 10,000 years ago, there was a violent eruption that caused the volcano to collapse and form this horseshoe shaped caldera in the middle of the island. The coastal waters are geothermally heated to 65ºC and at low tide there are clouds of steam rising from the shore shrouding the black sand beach with mystery. The volcano apparently erupts every 40 years or so and is already 10 years overdue for an eruption. Yikes! We were told when we made our landing that if we hear a loud siren from the ship, we are to run as fast as possible back to shore and into the zodiacs. As can be seen by the many remains of decaying and rusting buildings and boats, this used to be a whaling station as well as a scientific research base until several eruptions drove everyone off the island. As a photographer, I loved the contrast of these derelict buildings with the harsh natural environment. Deception Island gives us a glimpse into the traces of human activity in the Antarctic region. The island is said to be home to one of the world’s largest colonies of chinstrap penguins. However, the breeding season here has finished and all the penguins have already gone to sea.
Our adventures in Antarctica are quickly coming to an end. Last stop after Deception Island is Half Moon Island of the South Shetland Islands before we return to King George Island. Stay tuned!
Thanks for stopping by!
Click the “Follow” button to signup for email subscription or keep checking back for more blog posts to come.