The unoccupied Argentine summer research station of Camara in snow
We are now in Chinstrap Penguin territory
Two Humpback Whales cross paths with us on the way to Deception Is.
The entire Holland family participates in the Polar Plunge
Le Boreal - December 30, 2011
Half Moon Island/Deception Island, Antarctica
Temperature: 32˚F (0˚C)
Wind speed: 4 knots
Cloud cover: 100%
After the wonderful sunshine we had experienced yesterday our fingers were crossed. As we opened the curtains we knew, our weather people had not done enough. Greeting us was low cloud cover and snow. Approaching our anchorage we were able to make out the faint shape of Halfmoon Island, our destination for this morning.
Today's flavor of Pygoscelis (Brush-tailed) Penguin was Chinstraps. It would be our only opportunity to see these cantankerous little characters, named for the black line that creates a strap under their chins.
Through the lunch hour we steamed south towards our afternoon activity, a visit to Whalers Bay on the inside of Deception Island. Named for being deceptive, from the outside it looks like any other island. Once you take the time to look closely you fins an opening into the flooded caldera of this still active volcano.
As soon as we reached shore we could feel the heat on our faces from the steam. Once out of the zodiacs, still not sure what to expect, we reached down to test the waters temperature for ourselves. Half shocked most pulled their hands back when they found it almost too hot too touch.The time to see whom amongst us was slightly unhinged; it was time for the Polar Plunge! As one after the other shed their gear in the blustery winds, amidst screams as warm bodies met cold water, those of us not swimming felt cold. The looks of shock were comical until they reached the super heated waters left behind by the geothermal activity below. Once touching this, the look changed to relief and screams were replaced with laughter.