Drake Passage

Antarctica's flag
Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands
February 6th 2023
Published: February 7th 2023
Edit Blog Post

As we begin this last post, the ship is located approximately half way between Antarctica and tip of South America. Yes, of course, we're rocking and rolling, but so far not as bad as the journey south. Post will be devoted to Deception Island, including four absolutely adorable pinguins. This island is an "active" volcano, and we sailed right into the caldera! Honest Abe, and we have pix to prove it.

Sailing along the Beagle Channel on 6 February took a few pictures and this is the end of our trip. Happy trails everyone.

Bird & HP

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Deception IslandDeception Island
Deception Island

Rough map of island. Notice the solitary entrance, a wonderfully protected harbor for early explorers and whalers.
Basalt Basalt

Notice the basalt that was, we imagine, rapidly cooled by the ocean during an eruption. Our initial clue the island was of volcanic origin.

Just around the corner of the basalt is the entrance. Left side is shallow; captain hung quite close to the right.
Basalt Basalt

Same Basalt from just inside the entrance.
Just Inside the CalderaJust Inside the Caldera
Just Inside the Caldera

Cleared the entrance. Rather expansive inside.
Volcanic BeachVolcanic Beach
Volcanic Beach

Island is sixty percent glaciated, but heat from the volcano precludes ice here. Steam even rises from a few locations. Well, since the wimp refused the initial opportunity to view Chinstraps at South Shetlands, he was determined to locate some here. While the rest of the passengers struck off inland, the wimp traveled along the coast. Initially, he walked past the pictured hill that almost reaches the water searching the other side for penguins. Nothing doing. Dejected, he returned to the landing spot.
Other DirectionOther Direction
Other Direction

Expressing his disheartenment at locating pinguins in the other direction, an expedition team member advised it would be more likely to locate some in the other direction than where all the activity is occurring at the landing site. Duh, (yes, I was thinking smart ass, yet believe it or not, my waging tongue was motionless). With nothing else to do our wimp briskly moved out. Yes, long, long walk but thankfully several clean rocks for rest along the way. Awhile after rounding the corner, a shape resembling a penguin came into view. Walking rapidly, the penguin sighting was confirmed. But the infernal animal was traveling at his top speed in the opposite direction. The wimp persevered at his top walking speed and closed the distance.
The Penguin SightingThe Penguin Sighting
The Penguin Sighting

Penguin moving in the wrong direction.
Company ArrivesCompany Arrives
Company Arrives

Three more penguins emerge from the surf. And I just noticed something, the wrong way fella is not a Chinstrap, he's a Gentoo.
Greeting Dance?Greeting Dance?
Greeting Dance?

The three surf emergers dancing with the Gentoo? After all that walking, the Chinstraps and Gentoo present their reward.
Well NoWell No
Well No

Gentoo turns a cold shoulder to Chinstraps.

The four penguins maintained these positions for the ten minutes I took pictures. Occasionally, the Gentoo would look back and the Chinstraps would eye him (or her).
Our Solitary GentooOur Solitary Gentoo
Our Solitary Gentoo

This island houses a large Chinstrap community, but they inhabit the outside for easy access to food. Occasionally some wonder inside as is occurring. The Gentoo, however, should not be here.

Guess why they are called Chinstraps.
Another ViewAnother View
Another View

These guys ham it up almost as much as Puffins; sure don't mind the camera or me.
Chinstrap Was HereChinstrap Was Here
Chinstrap Was Here

Before becoming completely enamored with these guys, I should point out this is penguin excrement, which is ejected as a child would use a large water gun with short range. They care not what is to their rear as long as it does not land in their nest or on themselves. Other penguins and humans beware.
One Last LandscapeOne Last Landscape
One Last Landscape

I thought this was attractive and mysterious. Bird disagreed with both.
Beagle ChannelBeagle Channel
Beagle Channel

Okay, okay, here is another landscape. We are now back in South America heading north along the Beagle toward Ushuaia when I saw this small glacier.
Black Brow Albatross Black Brow Albatross
Black Brow Albatross

Did not see an albatross entire time in Antarctica but have two from the Beagle.

Do not recall if we sent a picture of the most southern city in the world. If not, here is part of Ushuaia, Argentina.

Tot: 0.066s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 7; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0463s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1mb