Tuesday 29 January 2013

Whalers Bay and Telephone Bay

After a partly shaky night we entered into the caldera of the volcanic Deception Island early in the morning. A spectacularly narrow passage that is further complicated by an underwater rock called Raven Rock right in the middle of the entrance.

The destination for our morning landing was Whalers Bay, where we visited the remains of the old whaling station Hector and the British Base B that was set up by the Falkland Island Dependencies Service. The weather was not exactly perfect – drizzling rain and a bit of wind – but it was still impressive to take a stroll between the abandoned station buildings and the dismantled blubber cookers. Hard to imagine that at this lonesome beach, thousands of whales were processed. Reports of whalers tell that at some time, several hundred flensed carcasses were floating in the caldera. The smell must have been tremendous!

As the weather situation outside the sheltered caldera of Deception Island further deteriorated, we decided to re-schedule our afternoon landing. Instead of continuing towards Walker Bay at King George Island, we stayed a little longer at Deception Island and accomplished a landing at Telephone Bay at the far end of the caldera. We undertook a scenic walk around some crater lakes filled with turquoise water and up a hill, from where we had a view of the entire inner part of Deception Island.
In the late afternoon, provisioned with sea-sickness pills, we sailed out of Deception Island and headed into the Drake Passage.