What a day! The morning started with an embrace of the unknown. Expedition leader Jonathan wanted to explore new lands, and he led us to the eastern side of Low Island to find a large chinstrap colony. We hoped to land on the island despite the swells, choppy seas and winds from the Drake Passage and the Bransfield Strait. Success! We took to the Zodiacs and found heaps of elephant seals, chinstrap penguins and surface-feeding Cape petrels. Antarctic terns chased kelp gulls from their nests. Caves, slots, beaches and rocks spread out around us. Staff members were just as excited to visit this new and wonderful destination.
Our afternoon took us to a land of volcanic and whaling history! At Whalers Bay on Deception Island, we enjoyed a historical tour of a whaling station from the 1900s. This was also the site of a violent eruption and a narrow escape by researchers in the 1960s. We hiked to a panoramic point to see Neptune’s Window. On top of all of this, heated groundwater on the steaming beach produced cooked krill, brittle stars, limpets and salps.