Deception Island

Tags: Antarctica, Deception Island

Date: December 13, 2022

Deception Island is the exposed portion of an active volcano about 15 km in diameter. The island is horseshoe-shaped with a dramatic entrance in the southeastern corner through the volcanic rim into a large bay in the middle. Here is the entrance seen from the outside before Fram proceeded into the bay:

Looking back at the entrance to the bay:

You can see the ship "Amundsen", also from Hurtigruten, in the left part of the photo. Interestingly, the ships from Hurtigruten exchange goods when the meet in Antarctica. Probably partly to get some fresh food, but also because some of them sail from Argentina and some from Chile, so different products are easier to come by for each ship.

You can see the fluke of a humpback whale diving in the distance:

We saw quite a number of whales on the trip, but they were mostly quite far away.

In the northwestern part of the large bay is a smaller bay called Telefon Bay, named in 1908 after a Norwegian ship, the damaged SS Telefon, that was put aground here for repairs. We went ashore in the tenders and had a lovely hike up the Cross Hill:

Here we are, hiking along:

Volcanic eruptions have occurred on Deception Island most recently in 1839–1842, 1967, 1969, and 1970. The surface of Cross Hill dates from the 1967 eruption and as you can see, no vegetation has returned to the surface yet:

Most of the area around Telefon Bay is designated as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) because the "young" surface (from 1967) makes it possible to monitor in real time how plants and animals colonize virgin land. In fact, the island has 11 such ASPAs due to its great number of rare plant species.

Group picture, without Bjarne, though:

In the distance you can see the entrance to the big bay in Deception Island:

At the top:

Thomas and Charlotte had already moved on since they had some important business that we will get back to.

Fram in the distance. The path down to the landing point is straight ahead:

Back to Thomas and Charlotte, who had decided to go for a dip in the Antarctic water:

The penguins are watching and wondering what is going on: