Port Lockroy and Neko Harbour

Jan 16, 2020 - National Geographic Orion

We started our day early at 6:30, sailing northward through the Lemaire Channel. It is a beautiful narrow channel with high snow and glacier covered mountains on either side. It is reputed to be the most photographed site in Antarctica and when you see it you can easily understand why. After our breakfast we arrived at our morning stop – Port Lockroy. This was an active British research station which was abandoned for several decades until it was restored into a museum in the mid-1990s. It is a pretty fascinating glimpse at life in the Antarctic in the 1960s. But as well as the museum there is also a well-stocked gift shop and a post office for you to send postcards back home and to friends. Don’t tell them to expect it anytime soon though, letters can take months to arrive!

After Lockroy we then headed to our afternoon landing of Neko Harbour, with a short detour to see some killer whales spotted on the bridge. Neko Harbour is a beautiful spot and right beside the landing is a very active glacier that often calves when we are there. A perfect reason for us not to stay on the beach at this site! We headed up the hill a short distance to then have amazing panoramic views of the surroundings and take in the large colony of gentoo penguins waddling around us. And where were the dive team? They went for a dive on a small spit of land jutting out just by the landing site!

Our day wasn’t over yet though! During dinner we sailed past the largest killer whale species on the planet, the type A killer whales. It looked like they had recently had a successful hunt as there were around 20 seemingly relaxed and playing in the water whilst a large group of birds were hovering nearby waiting to get any leftovers from the kill. To top the day off even more, we had the very entertaining Orion crew show.

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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

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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