24 January 2022
We left Half Moon Island and continued along the Shetland Islands to Deception Island. This island is an active volcano and the ship sailed into the caldera through an opening called Neptune’s Bellows. Deception Island is of particular interest to geologists and volcanologists because the caldera was formed as the magma below the volcano retreated and the earth’s crust sank back into the void left behind. Researchers have found that the caldera floor is rising at a rate of about 1 foot per year. Deception Island is an active volcano that is likely to erupt at some point in the future. Scientists are studying to determine when it may erupt. It lies along the pacific tectonic plate and is a part of the “Ring of Fire”.
This trip has been an adventure and today’s weather was no exception. We had a wonderful morning at Half Moon Island while Deception Island was a completely different experience. If we had to pick one photo that captures everything about our time at Deception Island this is it!
Mac and I ventured toward Neptune’s Window, a rock formation that you can climb. As we headed that way the beach is a grainy volcanic black sand with a high water table that each time we stepped our feet sunk in. It was raining with a bit of sleet and snow mixed in that we decided to turn back and meet back up with Grandpa.
We found a spot where sulfur was bubbling from the earth onto the beach. The smell of sulfur filled the air at this landing and added a sensory level to this adventure.
We were able to visit Whalers Bay a historical whaling station. We also touched the water and the ground which was about 60 degrees compared to the air temperature of around 37 degrees. When using our boots to disturb the sand on the beach we were able to create water table puddles that were even hotter to touch. We added an Antarctic Fur Seal to our wildlife spotting at this site.