Journey to Antarctica (Part IV): Whalers Bay & Telefon Bay

The next destination on our Antarctic expedition was the cove Whalers Bay at Deception Island (pretty cool name), which is found in the South Shetland islands that are located off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As Deception Island was formed by volcanic activity, the only way into its central caldera is through a narrow channel known as Neptune’s Bellows. The weather that day for our visit to Whalers Bay was pretty darn cold and gloomy, which added an eerie and surreal feel to our adventure.

As explained in our expedition log, Whalers Bay is “a place not too long ago in human history where the slaughter of countless whales took place. This place despite of, or even because of, it’s past is eery. Old huts of scientific research together with the blubber ovens and huge storage tanks littered the shore together with whale bones and the remains of old wooden boats.” Yikes! Talk about negative energy…

Here’s how things looked as we landed on the shore:

Well at least a penguin showed up to lighten things up a bit…

We were told that we could try to take a quick dip in the water if we wanted to, since the waters here are relatively warmer due to the volcanic nature of the island. Not sure if that was a lie our expedition staff told us just so they can weed out the crazy passengers, but it totally worked as over 30 people actually did it! I touched the water myself and the answer was no, it was not even remotely warm at all… it was all a lie!!! But at least those people who did it got certificates later from the expedition crew that honored their blind courage. Those of us who didn’t go into the waters were also given certificates, ones that verified our sanity.

For our second landing of the day, we headed to Telefon Bay where once ashore we hiked our way to the volcanic crater that had erupted in 1969. The dark color of the dense to fine-grained igneous rocks resulting from the volcanic activity along with the snow and ice gave this place a bleak and surreal feel. It was also windy as heck!

The series of photos shown below are NOT black and white photos, it’s how the place actually looked in color… pretty trippy!

This photo has been converted to black and white…

Our friend Penny marked her name on the ice…

We were all freezing at this point and couldn’t wait to get back onto our ship.

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