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Deception Island

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Again the day dawns a leaden gray.  Nature has been kind to us in this worst-of-all weather zones, but she has given us a taste of her whims nevertheless.  We have witnessed her face in many lights.  Today she is stern, austere.

Deception Island rises dark out of the sullen sea, her bleak rock dusted with snow.  The name derives from the secret this land holds.  It appears to be much like many islands in this part of the world.  It is only when one comes upon the break in the coastline that it becomes  clear that this is no ordinary island.  It is, in fact, the flooded caldera of a volcano.  Surprisingly, it’s still active.  It last vented its displeasure in a major way as recently as 1969, destroying two Chilean research stations in the process.

The opening, known as Neptune’s Bellows, grants entrance to one of the largest natural harbors in the world.  The Star Princess is too big to enter, but smaller expedition vessels can, giving their passengers the amazing opportunity to swim in Antarctica in water warmed by hot springs.

Our allotted time over, we begin our journey north, passing a large penguin colony on the island‘s eastern shore, as if bidding us farewell.  Snow Island, hazy and ethereal in the distance, is the last land we see in the Antarctic region.

Neptune's Bellows, Deception Isand

Snow Island

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