The volcanic rocks of Deception Island show their colors agains the cool gray backdrop of the Southern Ocean.
Only a narrow passage way, known as Neptune's Bellows, gives access to the sheltered bay.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Every now and then, I like to reach back into the archives for a little vicarious travel. This series is from Deception Island, one of the most interesting chunks of land in the South Shetland archipelago, northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches up like an index finger pointing at South America.
Deception Island is submerged caldera — the drowned crater of a giant and still-active volcano. The island served as a whaling base, and because of the sheltered bay, served as refuge from fierce Southern Ocean storms right from the early days of Antarctic exploration.
Toward the end of World War II, the British established a naval base on the island, but volcanic activity in 1969 forced the base to close. Chile and Argentina also established stations to strengthen territorial claims, but several of those bases were also destroyed by eruptions.
During the approach to Deception Island, the clouds lift for a moment, giving the sky a layer-cake look.
Remains of the whaling station, where entire whale carcasses were boiled to render the oil.
Calm seas and the prominent volcanic cliffs of Deception Island.
Gentoo penguins taking a dip in the chilly lagoon of Deception Island.
Looking over Neptune's Bellows and Port Foster from the trail to Bailey Head.
Looking out from the ramshackle abandoned whaling station toward the M/V Professor Molchanov anchored in the lagoon.
Hiking the rim of the Deception Island caldera.
Bailey Head, home to the world's largest chinstrap penguin rookert, with ice-covered Livingston Island in the background.
Hiking on the glaciers of Deception Island.
Thick layers of feathers cover the ground during molting season.
The chinstrap penguin rookery at Bailey Head, Deception Island.
Filed under: Morning photo, photography, Travel, wildlife Tagged: | Antarctica, caldera, chinstrap penguins, Deception Island, penguins, Travel