Half Moon Island & Yankee Harbour

Nov 20, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


Today I was able to get off the ship to see wildlife, drive Zodiacs, and go for a dive - three of my favorite reasons for doing this job (four if you count the ice cream cone) which I am sure apart from the dive is what made most of us happy today. Being able to go for a good hike and get so much fresh air hitting you in the face making your cheeks red is a great experience.

First off, we went to Half Moon Island, named because of the island’s half moon shape. The landing was a little tricky, but soon we had everyone ashore and dry to go hiking and visit the chinstrap penguin colonies. An adélie penguin was well spotted by some guests as well. Everyone was back on board by 12, and National Geographic Orion then sailed a short distance away to Yankee Harbour, where we all piled off into the Zodiacs armed with snowballs to pelt at those ashore during a snowball throwing drive-by. Lots of deep snow ashore at this site made it a bit more challenging, but it’s a real Antarctic adventure!

In the evening, we were even given a bonus visit to Whalers Bay in Deception Island – an incredible active volcano that you can sail right into!

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About the Author

Peter Webster

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

About the Videographer

Dexter Sear

Video Chronicler

Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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