Thursday, April 18, 2013

Whalers's Bay....................

January 25, 2013 - Deception Island, So. Shetland Islands
Good visibility, mostly sunny
Wind SW 3; Sea: rippled; Air Temp. 8C (46F)

After lunch, M/S Expedition passed through Neptune's Bellows to drop anchor in the middle of Deception Island, our last stop in the South Shetland Islands. This horseshoe-shaped island is a volcanic caldera and steam rising off the water shows that the volcano remains active. The brave souls who signed up for the Polar plunge had reached their destination!

A large resting leopard seal welcomed us ashore.

Volcanic black sand beach......quite inviting for 
that quick dip - and if you forgot 
your swimsuit that was OK - some folks wore their 
undies, but no skinny dipping permitted. 
These brave, and mostly younger, passengers were grateful 
for the sun, lack of wind, volcanic steam, and the warmish 
sand under their feet. 
Next time I'll join the brave group - it looked like fun!

The rusting remains of a former Norwegian whaling 
station, always a sad sight - memories of so many 
beautiful whales taken from the surrounding ocean - 
and later a British war-time listening station, abandoned 
after the last volcanic eruption in 1970.

Chinstrap penguins sharing important 
game when building nests for their eggs......

.......having a chat, perhaps even flirting......

......several dancing on their 'happy feet'......

....and then deciding to go for yet another swim for want of 
something more exciting to do at the beach! 

Love, love, love all penguins - neatest birds ever.

That night at dinner while celebrating Robbie Burns Day
for any and all who had a drop of Scottish blood in 
their veins - the sea decided to heave, roll and churn just 
as the bagpipes heralded the arrival of the haggis! 

Yes, thousands of miles from bonnie Scotland, the chef had 
conjured up an authentic culinary delight, hmmmm!  
You know I was not going to get anywhere near that haggis, 
being a vegetarian.

It was difficult keeping much on the tables, glassware 
filled with fine wines, cutlery and china, all went 
flying, as well as several people. 
Paula and I were tossed from our chairs to the floor, 
she sustaining a formidable cut on her leg requiring a 
visit to the ship's doctor - yours truly sliding in 
a most unladylike way on her backside all the way to 
kitchen entrance. The crew were amazing, picking us up 
and dusting us off - really concerned for our safety.
However, much rougher weather was in store for later - this 
evening toss about was just practice believe me!   

Next chapter in my journey to the bottom of the 
world will focus on reaching Antarctica and cruising 
through the beautiful Lemaire Channel....can't wait 
to show you the awesome scenery we passed through on the 
way to the seventh continent.


  1. Lovely photos of the penguins - less lovely of the abandoned whaling station:) Rough seas - hope you're a better sailor than I am!!

  2. Fascinating, Mary! The pictures are amazing as always, and your narration makes them come to life. It must have been scary, and I'm sorry to laugh at your being tossed about during dinner, but the picture you painted of yourself sliding across the floor was so funny :)

    Can't wait to continue the trip!

  3. What fabulous photos! And don't those cute penguins look like they're having fun. :-)

  4. I have always loved penguins and having followed your photos love them even more. Great photo of the dancing penguins.

  5. Wonderful photos Mary. I love the penguins. I had no idea you had rough seas on this voyage. I'm glad you weren't hurt in your fall. That would be rather unsettling to be tipped out of ones chair while on a heaving sea! I look forward to the next episode. Hugs, Pamela

  6. I just love the shot of the dancing penguins! What an adventure you had, Mary. Places that are stored in my memory of school days' geography and history lessons. I enjoy your story telling as we'll as YOUR enjoyment of the journey!

  7. Those penguins sure made me smile Mary :o) Though I too feel sadness at the whaling station.
    Goodness me, the storms must have been ferocious...I really wouldn't like that!
    Thank you for sharing these fabulous experiences with us, it's SO lovely to 'travel along' with you.
    Sending love and very best wishes
    Rose H

  8. And i have a gorgeous red fat scar as a souvenir of my trip!!!

  9. You know that we just eat up these posts of your travels, don't you? Tell us more about the storms - did they send you to your cabins for safety?

    1. Lorrie - future post of our crossing the Drake Passage back to Argentina will be up soon - and that ocean lived up to its name "roughest in the world"!!
      Thanks as always for stopping by and commenting - you are a true, loyal blog friend and I'm so grateful for your interest in my travels.

  10. Stunningly beautiful. In the first picture the snow looks some someone painted a design on the mountains. Stormy seas sound very scary to me. Yikes!

  11. Love every bit of this post. The penguins are so much fun to see. Glad your got past the violent seas.

  12. Oh my, the tossing does sound exciting and a bit scary I would think. The sand and the penguins would be such fun to see and feel. This adventure is one you will never forget. A trip of a lifetime.

  13. What scenery and penguins galore! I adore them too. The tossing episode doesn't sound too fun, and it's no wonder that you didn't end up on your keester!


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