November 26th - Deception Bay, Antarctica

We were up at 7am to see our entry into Neptune's Bellows to Port Foster in the centre of Deception Island.

We had a leisurely breakfast as the Rockhoppers were leaving second at 10.30am. The Chinstraps came back very wet.

It was raining hard on our way over to the landing and as we started our walk with Lutger to Neptune's Window, about 1.5 kms each way.  It was a surreal walk, along the black sand beach, with steam rising from the warm sand heated by the underground volcanic activity. Neptune's window in the distance.

We climbed up to Neptune's window, but the view was obscured by cloud, so we couldn't see the Peninsula. It was so windy at the top that we could have been blown away. It was rather slippery going down again as loose volcanic matter made walking rather hazardous.

We returned to the beach where towels had been laid out. Tim stripped off and swam in the sea! It was warm only on the very edge of the water, then the seabed dropped away and it immediately became very cold indeed. I filmed the swim and then Tim had to get dressed again in the high winds. It was very cold and the clothes kept blowing away. About 12 people altogether swam or immersed themselves in the water, but not all at the same time.

Deception Bay was used by whalers and the remains of the whale oil tanks were a reminder of a bygone age.

On the way back in the Zodiac, a plastic bag from Tim's rucksack blew away in the wind and our driver managed to retrieve it from the sea. It is strictly forbidden to leave behind anything whatsoever when in Antarctica.

We had a quiet afternoon, watching a movie in our cabin after lunch and having a much-needed rest. Doug, one of the passengers who worked at NASA, gave us an interesting talk on Mars and Antarctica and then we went into dinner with the Lowrys and Richard and Tricia. Tomorrow we, the Rockhoppers, leave the ship at 3.30am for a landing at Almirante Brown (Brown Station)!

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