Heading North

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Abandoned water boats and a weathered whale bone on Deception Island
We are now about halfway across the Drake Passage with swells predicted to rise later tonight. The air is warmer and our portholes no longer look out on icebergs and glaciers, they are dominated instead by the inky expanse of the Southern Ocean. Yesterday we visited Deception Island, a volcanic caldera creating a perfect harbour for the now defunct whaling station. Its last major eruption was in the 1960’s which resulted in the abandonment of the island by its human inhabitants. The fur seals havn’t left though and they throng the beach, lazing on the gerothermically heated sand. This was the scene of our polar dip, partaken in by about a quarter of the boat’s guests. Our speedy entrances and exits from the water have resulted in a number of poor quality photos (no sitka bikini shoot (un)fortunately). I have been in bed most of the day feeling pretty grotty as the wave height has slowly crept up a notch. Simon, Isobel and William have done some presentations to the guests about our trip showing some of the photos and videos, the response has been super positive. Looking forward to the calmer waters of the Beagle Channel but also not quite ready to leave the frozen south behind for good. As I’m sure all of our crew, our guides and of course Nigel can attest to, Antarctica has a way of getting under your skin.

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