Deception Island

Still in the South Shetlands the time for the 'Polar Plunge' had nearly arrived. Initially it was intended that we go through the gates of Neptune's Bellows into the centre of Deception Island where volcanic activity warms the water to 1C. Ice filled the entrance to this beautiful natural harbour, so we went around the corner to Baily Head.

Baily Head as used in programmes such as the BBCs Life in the Freezer and Frozen Planet. The sheer volume of birds is staggering. However, the landing is difficult and conditions rarely permit one. The dunking of 3 members of staff and numerous warnings to us not to go if we had any doubts meant a much smaller number than usual made this landing. Our boat handler was John and he changed boat before going back to the beach, added ropes and we were good to go. The snow was heavy and an indication of colder conditions for our later Polar Plunge.

This truly is a stunning site for chinstraps and well worth the risk of a trickier landing.

baily head

Chinstraps are a type of brush tail penguin

baily head

baily head

baily head

A snowy landscape of penguins

baily head

Penguin collision and fight

baily head

baily head

Penguin love

baily head

This picture really starts to set the scene for the Polar Plunge