Deception Island Travel Blog› entry 8 of 16 › view all entries
December 12th, 2000 – by: portia
This morning our ship reached the South Shetland group of islands. Our destination was Deception Island, a giant caldera from a volcano, it's more than 9 miles in diameter and shaped like a donut with an opening. The volano was last active in 1970. There were thermal springs here, the location of those crazy photos of people bathing in the hot springs in Antarctica. It was really windy, big waves pounding the rocks of the outside part of the island. Incredibly I was not seasick today at all, and I enjoyed standing in the front of the ship as it bounced its way into the flooded caldera called Port Foster, passing the narrow opening known as Neptune's Bellows. Port Foster extended about 6 miles into the island and there were several places of interests.
It was more than 80 knots winds inside also, and we couldn't land at the first place planned, Telefon Bay (where we could have walked to a recently formed crater filled with meltwater). On our ship (and I am sure many others), there were a diagram of wind scales, the last one "penguins are flying", meant that it was gale force wind, and the penguins would have been flying here today. The wind did die down later in the day, and our captain put our ship close to shore inside the caldera. We still had to use the zodiacs for the last 20-30 feet to shore of course. Then we got to walk on the island at Whaler's Bay.
There were abandoned whale processing structures here, huge oil storage tanks and boilers. The whaling station was used between 1910 and 1931. We even found parts of an old airplane were here (meaning that it had flown here at some point in time!)
We climbed up to the side of the crater and through an dip in the hills called Neptune's Window. We could see the waters outside! The scenary was very other-worldly. As most scenaries on this trip.
Elsewhere inside the crater were two research bases, one Argentine and the other Spanish. We did not visit them.
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