Tuesday 17 December 2013

Deception Island

Our day started with bright sunshine just at the entrance of the big caldera of Deception Island, the famous Neptune’s bellows. Then we began with our first landing at the former whaling station which we could visit in all quietness and spending lots of time surveying the whole area – whaling installation, base buildings, tanks and airplane hangar and last but not least, climbing to Ronald hill for the view or walking to the end of the beach close to Neptune’s windows to socialize with a weddell seal resting on the snow. It was also swimming time for some guests.
After lunch and not far away from our early landing, we moved to Telephone bay, were we attempted our second landing. Kayakers, cruisers and climbers went to do their own business, the first ones to a small bay teeming with seals, the second on a geological tour in and outside the caldera, and the last ones to the 170 m high hill which provided a magnificent view of the inner caldera. Even our safety officer went ashore and felt a little bit lost – missing the Fram – as you can see on the picture, while other passengers were very proud to have managed to come that fast to the summit, expressing all their joy in risky actions like raising the arms, while others had to grab the rocks so as not to be not blown away by the strong winds.

This was our farewell day from Antarctica and each one of us used the opportunity to spend some silent moments to be grateful for the wonderful experience we were granted to live in these latitudes. The best way to finish the day and the continental journey was by attending the creative and skillful crew show, where the hidden talents of some of our more permanent friends on board came to surface for the delight of all of us.