Sunday, 31 December 2017
31.12.2017 - 31.12.2017
This morning we arrived at Half Moon Island and we are now back in the South Shetlands. I was surprised to see a cargo vessel discharging supplies into a small scale landing craft. The Argentine Cámara Base is located on the island and was being re-opened for the summer. It is only accessible by sea and by long range helicopter; in favourable conditions, there is no airport of any kind.
Conditions were excellent for landing and the Zodiacs were quickly launched. There was an abundance of wildlife ashore comprising mainly chinstrap penguins, Antarctic terns, skuas and kelp gulls. When the explorers returned to the ship the ship set off for Deception Island.
During that short period the weather changed to low cloud, reduced visibility and snow. Our anchorage is in the flooded caldera of a ring of volcanoes. The island provided a safe refuge for sealers and whalers. Remnant equipment of that period still litters the shores. Once again the visitors were greeted by the resident Chinstrap Penguins. The weather didn't improve but the more energetic were rewarded by the discovery of some Weddell Seals and another Leopard Seal.
Back aboard we were treated to an impressive buffet dinner to mark the end of 2017. A crazy 'Black and White' costume party in the lounge was the prelude for a boisterous welcome to the New Year in the Polar Bear Bar. The festivities continued through to the early hours of 2018.
The ship continued on a Northerly course for the Drake Passage and the port of Ushuaia.
Stay healthy and safe.
Cheers .. Tony