Our first stop was Deception Island. The red flag denotes a walking path.
As the anchor was dropped we could see a house and fuel containers for a whaling station and a British research station. They were here until 1968 when a mud and debris flow (called a lahaar) destroyed most of it.
Our Expedition Team went first to make sure the coast was clear from all those penguin gangs ready to mug us. You can visualize the steam from the underground thermals at the waters edge.
This was also our first opportunity to go zodiaking. First things first, so lets get them in the water.
Our skilled crew were experts at moving them from the top of the ship into the water
Loaded with passengers and with a driver determined to get us to land
When we get to our destination there is a team waiting to unload us
This is what happens when your motor does not restart. After several tries it was determined they forgot to fill up with gas, so we left them there. No worries, we threw them the book “Endurance “by Ernest Shackleton. We figured they might need it as we waved good bye.
The weather can change instantly, and one time our driver had to navigate through mini icebergs to pick us up
There is a specific procedure for entering and exiting the zodiak, all under the watchful eye of Jannie (he’s that mean- looking guy at the top of the gangplank). If you didn’t do it exactly to protocol you would get an earful from Jannie- don’t fool with him!
Another successful (nobody fell in) unloading to the mothership
A huge jellyfish on one of our zodiak outings
Our first time on Antarctic terra firma. You can see the steam rising around me from the thermals at the waters edge.
The first wildlife we encountered were fur seals. They were just as curious about us as we were about them.
Our first chance to get up close and personal with penguins. This is a chinstrap.
The remains of the Biscoe House as it was when the lahaar hit
We could hike the island to the far end and get a nice view. The Biscoe House and fuel storage tanks are now visible at the far right, along with the steam for our Antarctic hot tub excursion.
Hot water from the thermal springs at the edge of the beach was just warm enough to enjoy. If you moved just a few inches either way you would feel the full impact of the icy waters and your you-know-what would freeze!
Those of us that took the dip are official members of the Antarctic Hot Tub Club
As we continued our cruise we went through areas called Half Moon Bay, Paraside Bay, Gerlache strait, and the Lemaire Channel. The scenery was top notch!
We had a chance to go on the bridge and watch how they navigated past icebergs
Even though our ship is further away than this blue iceberg and seems small because of this distance, you can get an idea of how big an iceberg gets in relation to our ship
This is what our captain and his bridge crew had to navigate around oftentimes
The only other tourist ship we came across was the National Geographic Endeavor
It was fun to watch it disappear off into the distance