Journey to Antarctica – Part 5

Antarctica Map 04

The Final Leg, Paradise Bay to Half Moon Island

The variability of weather and scenery continued as our ship moved north from Paradise Bay, to Neko Harbor, and then out of the Antarctic Zone toward Deception Island and the return to Argentina.

Paradise Bay lived up to its name as our good luck with weather—at least from the photographer’s viewpoint—continued.  And I’ve since discovered that the scenery of Antarctica also lends itself nicely to Black and White images.

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View from Zodiac, Paradise Bay

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Paradise Bay, Mid-morning Light

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Vicinity of Neko Harbor, Evening Light

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Neko Harbor, Evening Light

Deception Island, part of the South Shetland Islands, is considered one of the safest harbors in Antarctica.  I guess you could say that, except the island is the caldera of an active volcano and your ship’s captain must know exactly where that submerged rock is located in the very, very narrow entrance (see map).Deception Island Map 02

Map of Deception Island

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 Inside the Caldera, Deception Island, mid-morning

 We were told that the island got its name because sailors had been going past it for decades until finally one curious ship captain found the narrow entrance was hiding a perfectly formed harbor.  For us, the deception was the weather.  When we arrived, everything was very nice.  But a few hours later a snow squall spun up making it a little difficult for the Zodiac drivers as they maneuvered alongside the ship.  (Click here to see a Vimeo clip)  But please overlook my limited video skills.

Our last stop in Antarctica was Half Moon Island, a 400-acre speck of land that was home to a chinstrap penguin colony which we were bound and determined to see.

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Chinstrap Penguin Admiring the Snow

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Chinstrap Penguin Colony

Interestingly, Google has a lite version of its “Street View” application captured (on a much nicer day) from this location, apparently the sole basis for its claim that it has covered all 7 continents.  Click here for a view not far from my image above and, although you may have to rotate the scene with your mouse, you will recognize the jutting rock on the right.

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Fresh Snow, Half Moon Island, Antarctica

 

Next—Iguazu Falls

25 thoughts on “Journey to Antarctica – Part 5

    • Thanks very much, it seems like a natural subject for B&W. By the way, we saw two sailboats while there, one about 70 feet (two masts) and one even smaller (single mast). I was pretty impressed, given the reputation of the Drake Passage for extreme weather.

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      • Yes, that might be a little undersized. I was told that people who do this, aside from being very experienced in open water sailing, usually spend a year preparing for this trip. I noticed the navigational maps on the bridge that there were symbols showing safe harbor locations for sailing vessels. But even in the placid waters of the bays issues such as the sudden appearance of brash ice can pose problems. For example, one of our Zodiac runs was forced to take a roundabout return to the ship because a bunch of the stuff floated into the harbor during the 90 minutes we were on shore.

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