Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica

Whalers Bay is inside horeshoe-shaped Deception Island, which is formed by a flooded, collapsed rim of a 10,000 year-old volcanic crater. Major eruptions on the island have occurred six times in the last 100 years. The eruption in 1923 removed paint from hulls of ships inside the harbor. Deception Island is one of the few places in the world where vessels can sail directly into the center of a restless volcanic caldera.

Photos by Steve Ebbert
Click on each image below to see larger photo.


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The black sand beach steams at low tide from geothermic heat. Whalers Bay was used as a whaling station beginning in 1906 and throughout the first part of the 1900’s. These are the remains of the Norwegian Hektor Whaling Station. The last enterprise used these digesters to render oil from the whale bones scattered in the bay from earlier days.
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This is a barge used to haul fresh water to whaling ships waiting in the harbor.
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Later, an aircraft hanger was constructed and Whalers Bay was used by the British as the first base of a secret World War II expedition and forerunner of the British Antarctic Survey. It was one of the earliest permanent research stations in Antarctica. Whaler grave. Original cemetery was inundated by volcanic flow. The flora of Deception Island is of exceptional scientific importance, as the study of colonization of recent volcanic deposits is ongoing. Overlook near Neptune’s Bellows.
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Cape petrels nest on the nearby cliffs. Chilean research station support vessel, which was Anchored near Whalers Bay during our visit.

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Last updated: 1/29/06