Cruising the Antarctic Peninsula Part 1

Another day, another Antarctic Peninsula Island. After overnight cruising towards our next stop, briefly exposing us to some of the Drake swell, we eventually stopped next to Half Moon Island in a sheltered spot and landed in slightly calmer conditions than the day before. In the bay on end was an Argentinian base, which is more or less maintained only in order to keep a presence in the area. There was a matching Argentinian Naval vessel, a 2 masted sailboat, anchored in the protected bay.

On land there were the remnants of an old wooden smaller boat, plus of course the obligatory Gentoo penguins and fur seals. There was also supposed to be a lone Macaroni penguin, but I unfortunately did not spot him.

Then back on ship for lunch and a short cruise to Deception Island, an active volcano that last erupted in 1969. Weather was deteriorating with some snow and strong gusty winds, blowing at 30 to 45 knots and gusting to just over 60. But we were hoping to have some calmer conditions inside the island. Yes, inside. You actually sailed the ship through a gap in the side of the Caldera. There used to be a whaling station inside, and later on research stations, but the volcano put an end to that.

Conditions were a bit calmer inside, so the ship was anchored and a shore party sent out to check conditions. But unfortunately the ships anchor was not holding in the wind, even though 200 meters were dropped, which was a few ton of iron. As it was being dragged at about 1 knot with the anchor down, the shore party was cancelled, anchor pulled up and a spectacular exit made out of Deception Island towards our next goal, the Antarctic Peninsula itself.



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