It just keeps getting better!

king penguins
tecla on the falkland islandes

The white continent has not failed us. It has surpassed all expectations and keeps amazing! The Caldera Deception Island we had pretty much to our self’s. Just for we started for the entrance, Neptune’s Bellows the last ship came out. Deception Island is one of the two volcano’s on the Antarctic continent. Her last eruption was in the 70’s and it is expected not to be the last… The inside sea is a bout 3 nml wide at the most, so quite substantial! Her entrance is not even a 100 mtr wide. It looks wider but there is a rock, Raven rock with only 2.2 mtr water on top. A British ship called the Raven ran a ground here on new years day. It was avoiding an Argentinean ship coming out. When they struck the crew waved fanaticly at the passing ship, but the Argentineans thought is was a greeting for the new year… We floated around Pendulum cove and did a short landing. Then up to Whalers Bay to look at the abandoned whaling station and a walk to Neptune’s Window. We were al done and ready to go when the next ship came in.

We spent the night at anchor at Bailey Head just in front of one of the biggest Chinstrap Rockeries. Next day saw us of bright and early for Mikkelsen, on the south coast of Trinity Island. A great anchorage and the first amongst the real ice. There is an Argentinean Hut with a Gentoo colony around it, plenty to see. From the boat we spotted a Leopard Seal resting on the ice. There long sleek body and there massif head is unmistakable! It turned out to be a large male with a lot of scares on his face. Next morning we were of early again in to the Gerlache Strait. This is where the scenery realy starts to out grow the imagination! Towering cliffs with ice to the sea level. How ever a stiff breeze from the south picked up which forced us to change plans. After some exploring we found a nice sheltered anchorage between Bluff Island and Challenger Island. The 5 meter deep moraine kept out most of the ice, and the scenery made for a great dingy cruise.

Next morning we were of early again for Water Boat point. The cruise there was as if we sailed true the French Alps again, not a dull moment. On arival wwe where greeted by the Chilean’s who have a base there, right at the entrance of Paradise Harbor. This morning we are under way for our furthest point south in the Le Maire Channel. It just keeps getting better! Plenty of penguins and whales a cup of tea in the sun shine and plenty of ice!

Gijs Sluik

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