January 30th, we sailed to Deception Island in the South Shetland
Archipelago. Deception Island is essentially a giant caldera - a
multiple volcanic structure which has collapsed into its central
underground magma chamber after the molten material receded deeper
into the earth. It measures more than nine miles in diameter and
is still volcanically active. We sailed right inside the flooded
caldera center called Port Foster, passing through the dramatic
narrow entrance known as Neptune's Bellows. We
landed in Whalers Bay where there are the remains of an abandoned
shore-based Norwegian whaling station that operated from 1910-1931.
The site was later taken over by the British during WWII in order
to observe German U-boat operations. After the war, it continued
as a British Antarctic Survey station until its destruction by a
volcanic eruption in 1970.Some
of the group wandered along the shore line and up to a break in
the crater's edge called Neptune's Window.
explored the ruins and were amazed to see how the buildings were
destroyed by the force of the mud flow during the eruption. The
size of the tanks used to store the oil from the processed whale
blubber made us realize how many whales must have been slaughtered.
For more photos of Whalers Bay, go to Whalers
Bay Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited,
go to Telefon Bay, Deception
Locations Visited Photos