December 17, 2013
This morning Kim and I did some yoga with a few other passengers and Liz leading the way. Great way to start the morning. Namaste.
We then headed to Deception Island which is a circular volcanic ring spanning a diameter of 12 km. We entered it through Neptune’s Bellows.
The ring surrounds Port Foster, which is a flooded caldera. What created the Caldera was an eruption that took place over 10,000 years ago. 30 cubic km of material was blown off. Another eruption took place in 1842 and was seen by American Sealer Capt Smiley where there were 13 active volcanoes. Other eruptions occurred in 1912, 1917, 1967, and 1969, and it still remains volcanically active. Deception island was thought to be discovered by William Smith in 1819, while others say it was Nathaniel Palmer. A whaling station was formed in 1912 but soon closed in 1931 where it became uneconomic to maintain. We struck a few poses at the top of a hill we hiked up and then headed back down.
I met up with Steve, took off my red wet suit, and we ran along the ash beach. It was cold yet refreshing and steam was coming off the water. A lot of people then decided to do the Polar Plunge, but there was no way that myself, Jessica, nor G would go in that water. I was decently warm already, and had no intention of making myself freeze.
In the afternoon we went to Half Moon Island where we saw Chinstrap penguins as well as a Macaroni penguin – the Macaroni being rare since he doesn’t live in this area; 94% of the penguins in South Georgia are actually Macaroni penguins. It was our last excursion and it was bittersweet. Several penguins came super close to me when I had to go over their highway. I stood still as molasses and watched them go near and around me. We then saw a big seal – he looked pretty lazy, but I think for the most part all seals do. It was a good place to have our last excursion.
Later tonight we celebrated with champagne outdoors and a lot of pictures were taken. After Simon, Chris, and Boris played some music, then…karaoke was turned on. It was awesome. “Penguin” (long story) from the Chinese group, is quite the singer. Everyone sort of bonded during this trip; it’s like a large family coming together, adventuring together another part of the world. Anyway, I never saw Chinese karaoke combined with songs like Sweet Caroline. Kathleen, Nate and I hung out observing the karaoke. Great night…people were dancing, singing, and having a good time.