Deception Island: Visiting Whalers Bay, travelogue

Deception Island: Visiting Whalers Bay, travelogue

Lost Place • Whaling Station • Sea Lions

from AGE ™ Travel Magazine
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This travel report takes you to our shore leave on Deception Island: Explore Whalers Bay and its historic buildings with us. Enjoy the company of fur seals and gentoo penguins. Experience how a change in the weather can enchant the coast in just a few minutes. Deception Island is part of the South Shetland Islands and politically part of Antarctica. The sub-Antarctic island is served by cruise ships on Antarctic voyages and offers several attractions.


AntarcticaAntarctic trip • South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula & South GeorgiaShip Sea Spirit • Antarctic Travel Report 1/2/3/4

Visit to Whalers Bay from Deception Island

Personal experience report:

Deception Island's Whalers Bay is used by guests of the Sea Spirit perceived very differently. The statements vary from "What am I supposed to do here?" to "You have to see that." to "Fantastic photo opportunities." We are talking about the rusty remains of the former whaling station and the dilapidated buildings from its eventful history South Shetland Island. But at the end of the day we all agree: Thanks to Mother Nature, the trip was a complete success.

Seal hunting, whaling and processing whales in the world's southernmost blubber cookery shaped Deception Island in the first half of the 20th century. A sad past. Then, during World War II, the British destroyed all the facilities for fear they might fall into German hands. We stand helplessly for a moment in front of the ruins of time, stare at the huge rust-red tanks and have horrifying images in our heads.

Landing Whalers Bay Deception Island South Shetland Islands - Sea Spirit Antarctic Expedition Cruise

Then we do the only logical thing: We throw ourselves into a photo shoot with sugar-sweet Antarctic fur seals.

Also known as fur seals, the beautiful animals were nearly wiped out during Deception Island's Dark Years. But fortunately they have returned, have multiplied successfully and have now reclaimed their habitat. They seem to know that they no longer have anything to fear from humans and remain perfectly calm despite our presence. We too relax and enjoy the beautiful view and the company of the funny sea dogs.

They lie everywhere. At the beach. in the moss. Even between the tanks. males and females. adults and juveniles. How nice that this is her island again today. A member of the expedition team draws our attention to the moss again. After all, we are in the Antarctic and for this area, mosses are an extremely lush vegetation that deserves a little attention.


Then we stray along the beach and explore the derelict buildings. A little history can't hurt. On our journey through the past we circle rusty tanks, peek into crooked windows, find ancient graves and the buried remains of a tractor in the sand. You are not allowed to enter the ruins. There is an acute danger of collapse.

I like the tractor best. It is impressive what ground masses must have moved in order for the vehicle to sink so deeply. A skuas next to wood and rusty nails makes me think again. It would make sense to clean up here. It's just a shame that that's exactly what's forbidden.

One of the passengers is an avid Lost Places fan. Deception Island's Whalers Bay is a Lost Place of the first order, and as a result, he's all about it, asking a thousand questions about the buildings. The living quarters of the whaling station were converted into a research station by the British, the expedition team is currently telling. The aircraft hangar also dates from this period. No, the plane is no longer there. That has since been removed. Great Britain, Argentina and Chile have had stations here and have laid claims to the island. Two volcanic eruptions put an end to the dispute and the island was evacuated. The cemetery was also buried at that time. "And today?" Today, Deception Island falls under the Antarctic Treaty. The political claims of the states are dormant and the remains of the whaling station are protected as a heritage site.


Enough story for today. We are drawn back to the animal inhabitants of the island. To our great joy we discover two Gentoo penguins. They patiently pose for us and waddle eagerly back and forth between the fur seals.

Then the weather suddenly changes and nature transforms our excursion into something very special:

First, fog gathers and the mood suddenly changes. Somehow the mountains seem bigger than before. Tiny huts, volcanic land, a mighty rocky slope and all-consuming fog towers above. The scenery becomes mystical, nature is present and the deep gray intensifies the shading of the rock into bright colors.

Then it starts raining. All of a sudden, like a secret command. Fine sleet pelts the black beach. The dark sand seems to get a little darker, a little rockier and more contrasting. In the distance, on the other hand, the contours blur, the clouds lower and the world blurs.

Eventually the rain solidifies into snow. And before our eyes, the coast of Deception Island turns into a new fairyland. The painter of the air delicately traces the lines of the mountains. Every single contour. Like a pencil drawing. And when his work of art is finished, the snowfall stops immediately.

We are fascinated by how the world around us is changing. Like a perfect theatrical production, only live. In just a few minutes all the mountains and hills on the coast are draped in a new white dress. It looks beautiful. Here too, in a lost place like this, nature has created a masterpiece for us.


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Did you like Whalers Bay from Deception Island?
AGE™ has more articles for you on the subject: Join us as we set course for Deception Island, spot our first iceberg of the voyage, and enter Deception Island's water-filled caldera. On our solitary hike in Deception Island's Telefon Bay we explore the beauty of the landscape and have a fantastic view down to the floating expedition ship Sea Spirit in the volcanic crater. If instead you're looking for a quick overview of island facts and sights, then you've come to the right place with our fact sheet about Deception Island.

Continue to the fact sheet about Deception Island and its attractions

To the complete Deception Island travel report including a trip to the caldera

Directly to the travel report about the hike in Telefon Bay from Deception Island


AntarcticaAntarctic trip • South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula & South GeorgiaShip Sea Spirit • Antarctic Travel Report 1/2/3/4
This editorial contribution received external support
Disclosure: AGE™ were given discounted or gratuitous services from Poseidon Expeditions as part of the report. The content of the contribution remains unaffected. The press code applies.
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Texts and photos are protected by copyright. The copyright for this article in words and images lies entirely with AGE ™. All rights are reserved. Content for print / online media can be licensed on request.
Liability
The experiences presented in the field report are based exclusively on true events. However, since nature cannot be planned, a similar experience cannot be guaranteed on a subsequent trip. Not even if you travel with the same provider. If our experience does not match your personal experience, we assume no liability. The content of the article has been carefully researched and is based on personal experience. However, if information is misleading or incorrect, we assume no liability. Furthermore, circumstances can change. AGE™ does not guarantee topicality or completeness.
Source reference for text research
Information on site as well as personal experiences at a Expedition cruise on the Sea Spirit from Ushuaia via the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland to Buenos Aires in March 2022. Our shore leave in Whalers Bay from Deception Island took place on March 04.03.2022th, XNUMX.
Poseidon Expeditions (1999-2022), Home page of Poseidon Expeditions. Traveling to Antarctica [online] Retrieved 04.05.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX, from URL: https://poseidonexpeditions.de/antarktis/

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