Monday 30 January 2012

Astrolabe Island & Deception Island

Oh yeah! Another sunny day in Antarctica! The calm sea allowed us to do a landing at Astrolabe Island, which is a very rare opportunity. The male fur seal were more or less happy sharing the beach with us for a few hours. A Leopard seal and some Weddell seals were swimming around near the landing site. And of course there was a penguin colony, this time Chinstraps.  Some of us made it to the top of a snow-covered peak. Not just for the amazing view, but also for the enjoyment of sliding down the mountainside. On the way back to the ship we did a cruise around the Island and had a look at birdlife; Southern Fulmars, Giant Petrels, Antarctic Terns and Kelp Gulls. 

We were expecting to spend the rest of the day onboard, but the weather was just too good. We just had to get out again. The Expedition leader and the Captain quickly re-arranged the schedule. After some relaxing time onboard with lectures and delicious waffles we were ready for an evening landing at Whalers Bay on Deception Island. We walked between the historical buildings of a Norwegian whaling station that operated here from 1912 to 1932, we tried to imagine what the place must have looked like then. Obviously, two hikes where offered, one to the East side and one to the West side of the landing site. The bravest ones among us also went for a swim in the ice-cold water. This was another day in paradise.