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Deception IslandOn 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. Beach walk to Neptune's WindowWe 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.Whaling station buildingSome of the group wandered along the shore line and up to a break in the crater's edge called Neptune's Window.




Whale Oil Storage TanksWe explored the ruins and were amazed to see how the buildings were destroyed by the force of the mud flow during the eruption. Boilers for whale blubberThe 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 Island.

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