Deception Island & Yankee Harbour

Whalers’ Bay is the first bay inside Port Foster as you pass through Neptune’s Bellows at Deception Island. The buildings include the remains of the Norwegian Hektor whaling station and a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) base, which was evacuated after an eruption in 1967. A 15-minute walk from the landing site up the slope of the caldera will take you to Neptune’s Bellows, from which you can get a view of Port Foster, and on a clear day, you can sometimes see the Antarctic peninsula across the Bransfield Strait.

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Big old volcano deception island. Good times wandering around it, the ground is still warm if you did down a bit. There have been times when the ship has had to stay inside the caldera because it’s impossible to sail out again.. In fact, it was one of the few times that the bridge was closed and passengers weren’t allowed up (captain having to concentrate on some tricky nav)

Whalers used it, the BAS used it, all deserted now though I believe.

Then in the afternoon it was our last landing & cruise at Yankee Harbour

Yankee Harbour lies between Glacier Bluff and Spit Point on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. The harbour is enclosed by a curved stone and gravel bar, and was known to American and British sealers as early as 1820. A tripot from early sealing activities can be still be seen on the spit. Approximately 4,000 pairs of breeding Gentoo penguins nest on the site’s raised beach terraces, and southern elephant seals and Weddell seals occasionally haul out here.

I spent most of the time on shore just sitting down, listening to the scraping and popping of the ice (popping while trapped air bubbles are released), meditating on what we’d seen and done. I just feel & felt so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to see this very unique place, tinged with a little bit of a guilty conscience in the carbon we’d used to get down here, the organisms that we did our very very best not to bring to land, but I imagine every so often stuff gets through that shouldn’t… and just hoping that what with climate change etc. that the special place that is Antarctica will be around in another 5000 years. That said, change is the only constant, and there are lots of things that will have a bearing on that. But mostly, I just felt incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing adventure.


3 responses to “Deception Island & Yankee Harbour

  1. Myra

    Thanks for sharing amazing photos of your incredible adventure! And happy, happy happy happy birthday!!

  2. Dad

    Looking forward to 48 hrs of total immersion in these amazing pictures when you finally get here.


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