Whale bones at Whalers Bay, Deception Island

15 12 2009

Another slide scan from my Antarctica trip—converted to b&w (there isn’t much color in the original—overcast silvery-gray skies, murky water, black and white Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins, and white whale bones). Perfect for a black and white conversion, I’d say!

Deception Island is an intermittently active volcano and the central crater of the island is a caldera. Whaler’s Bay is just inside the mouth of the harbor on the east side of Deception Island. It is the site of an old whaling station with a rendering plant, and a British Antarctic Survey base with an airplane hangar—both long since closed down. The base closed down in 1969, just after the last eruptions. During the Great Depression of the 1920s, whale oil prices dropped and the factory ships were abandoned. All that remains are rusty buildings and whale skeletons. The place was all at once rich in photographic opportunities but haunting and sad at the same time—all those big, beautiful intelligent creatures…gone.

During this stop, some of the more brave (or foolhardy?) passengers donned bathing suits and took a quick dip in an area where the geothermal heat had warmed the water. Once in, they looked pretty happy—it was the entrance and exit that had them moving pretty quickly! And no, I didn’t join them—I had a camera to protect, you know. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

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