South Shetland Islands Destinations!

Admiralty Bay / Henryk Arctowski Station / King George Island

Located on the south coast of King George Island, between Demay Point and Martins Head, Admiratly Bay was discovered and roughly charted by Powell in 1820-22. He named the bay after the Board of Admiralty. The Brazilian station Comandante Ferraz (latitude 62°05' S / longitude 58°23' W) was inaugurated on 6th February 1984 on Keller Peninsula, near an old British station opened in 1947 and shut down in 1961. Near the Brazilians, Peru established its summer-only Base Machu Picchu on the west side of Keller Peninsula in February 1989. The western shore of the Admiralty Bay was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI, No.8) under the Antarctic Treaty. Its location is just south of the Polish Henryk Arctowski Station named after a Polish geologist, oceanographer and meteorologist (1871-1958). This scientific station is run by the Polish Academy of Sciences and has operated continuously since 1977. Over thousand Poles have worked here during the years. The 15 station buildings can accommodate between 12 (in winter) and up to 30 people. There has been continuous research in the fields of oceanography, geology, geomorphology, glaciology, meteorology, climatology, seismology, magnetism and particularly ecology. Henryk Arctowski Station normally is the main aim for Antarctic voyages in this area of the South Shetland Islands. The landing spot in front of the station buildings is called Half Moon Beach. The friendly Polish crew of the base grants an insight into its daily life, the surroundings are great and provide for some excellent wildlife observations. On a hill south of the station, there is the grave and iron cross of Wlodzimierz Puchalski. Puchalski was an artist and producer of documentary nature films who died on 19th January 1979 whilst working at the station. The moraine behind the station holds fossil woody-plant material related to Nothofagus species, a genus of beech trees from Tierre del Fuego.

Aitcho Islands

This small group of icefree islands is located between Robert Island and Greenwich Island in the northern entrance to English Strait, South Shetland Islands. They were charted by the Discovery Investigations in 1935 for the Admiralty Hydrographic Office, and subsequently named for the abbreviation of the Hydrographic Office: HO. Other features in this vicinity were named after members of the Hydrographic Office staff but some islands of the group do not bear any name. For a great number of Antarctica voyages, the Aitcho Islands represent one of the first, or last possible landings after/before crossing the Drake Passage. Barrientos Island usually provides the best chances for a landing on these windswept islands, and provides some fine scenery and wildlife. The north coast is dominated by steep cliffs (about 70 m / 230 feet high) where Southern giant petrels nest. Columnar basalt outcrops are a notable feature of the western end of the island. The beaches are crowded with Gentoo penguins and Chinstrap penguins. Near the tip of the western end of the island, one can come across resting Southern elephant seals, Antarctic fur seals and the occasional Weddell seal. The amazingly vast vegetated areas (mosses, lichens) are the breeding ground for skuas.

Baily Head / Deception Island

A prominent head on the outer shore of Deception Island (see there) forming the easternmost point of that volcano. Baily Head was charted by Kendall in January-March 1829 and later called Punta Rancho (camp point) by an expedition in the mid-1900’s, because the feature resembles a camp. Following a survey by the Falkland Islands Dependencie FIDS in 1953-54, the spot was named Baily Head after Francis Baily (1774-1844), an English astronomer and president of the Astronomical Society and vice-president of the Royal Society of London, who reported on Henry Foster's pendulum observations (see Pendulum Cove) made at Deception Island in 1829. From an Antarctic tourist point of view, there are two outstanding features at Baily Head – an extraordinarily long beach of black sand (nearly 7 km / 4.5 miles) facing Livingston Island, and the presence of an estimated 100’000 pairs of Chinstrap penguins. In fact, nowhere in the world one can find a larger Chinstrap penguin colony! The beach, however, has a very steep face towards Bransfield Strait that produces a heavy swell and surf. Zodiac landings, therefore, are not always possible. Once on land, extensive guano and mud from the penguin colony provide for a slippery adventure.

Bellingshausen Station / King George Island

The Russian Bellinsgausen station is situated on the Fildes Peninsula in the south - western part of King George Island facing Maxwell Bay. The station opened in January 1968 and was named after Admiral Thaddeus Thaddevich Bellingshausen (1779-1852), of the Imperial Russian Navy, Commander of the Russian Antarctic Expedition. The 14 station buildings are located about 16 m above sea level and share the bay with neighbouring Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva of Chile (see there). The maximum summer population amounts to 38 persons; in the winter, an average of 25 people live here. The average pricipitation amounts to 729 mm / 29 inches. The warmest temperatures are recorded in the southern summer; in January and February the average temperature is about 1°C / 34°F. July and August are the coldest months averaging about –7.2°C / 19°F. However, on really cold winter days temperaures can drop to –30°C / -22°F. The small wooden Orthodox Church on the nearby hill and the signpost in front of the station buildings are popular photographic motives among Antarctica cruise passengers. The following scientific activities are caried out: Environmental monitoring, geodesy and mapping, geomagnetic observations, glaciology (continental and sea ice zone), human biology, ionospheric and auroral observations, meteorology, onshore geology and geophysics as well as terrestrial biology.

Deception Island

Located south of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, this horse-shoe shaped active volcano measuring 15 km / 9.5 miles in diameter and 98.5 square kilometers / 38 square miles in area appears on most itineraries of Antarctica voyages. Together with the two much smaller islands of volcanic origin – Penguin Island (see there) and Bridgeman Island (62°03' S / 56°45' W, rising steeply to 240 m / 795 feet, located 37 km / 23 miles to the east of King George Island) – Deception is one of the recent volcanic centers in the South Shetland Islands, and by far the largest. The crater rim is composed of lava and cinders. It rises to an average elevation of about 300 m / 985 feet. However, glaciers and ash-covered ice are dominant above the 100 m / 330 feet contour line. Actually, they cover 57 per cent of the island. The highest points are Mount Pond (539 m / 1770 feet) in the east, and Mount Kirkwood (452 m / 1484 feet) in the southern part. The most incredible attraction on any Antarctic cruise is to enter the narrow gap in the volcano’s rim called Neptunes Bellows (see there) by ship. This only entrance makes Deception Island the only volcano in the world where ships can actually sail directly into the flooded crater. From a biological point of view, Deception Island has not so much to offer at first glance. The flora is sparse but exceptional featuring at least 18 species of moss or lichen that cannot be encountered anywhere else in the Antarctic. Due to volcanic activity there are countless geothermal areas boasting of a unique plant community of particular importance. Besides, the largest known community of Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis) grows on the island. Bird watchers will enjoy 9 species of seabirds that breed on Deception Island, including the world’s largest colony of Chinstrap penguins at Baily Head (see there). Scientific activities are restricted to the summer months only and come from the Base Decepción established in 1948 and operated by Argentina and the Gabriel de Castilla Station opened in the summer 1989/1990 and operated by the Spanish army. Human history started early on Deception Island – at least to Antarctic standards. The east coast of the island was almost certainly the land charted "in thick fog" by Edward Bransfield on 29th January 1820. The name of this striking island was apparently first recorded by Nathaniel B. Palmer on 15th November 1820, and refers to the deceptive nature of this ring-shaped island with its central harbour, which is in fact a breached and drowned volcanic crater. In the southern season of 1820 to 1821, sealers charted the island and found its sheltered flooded caldera (called Port Foster; see there) a most welcome anchorage ground. In December 1912, a Norwegian whaling station of the Hektor Whaling Co. from Tønsberg started operations on the island. This station at Whalers Bay (see there) was maintained continuously until 1931. There were ten volcanic eruptions since the year 1800, the last ones being recorded in 1972 and 1987 however uncertain. Those from 4th December 1967, 21st February 1969 and 12th August 1970 caused considerable changes in the topography of the island, especially in the Telefon Bay area (see there) and resulted in the evacuation of the scientific stations in Port Foster. However, seismologists could pinpoint eruptions dating back to 8700 years before our time finding the evidence in ash layers in lake sediments on the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring islands.

Elephant Island

Encased in mysteries and tremendous history, Elephant Island is most probably one of the South Shetland Islands’ most sought-after landing spots – in theory and dreams at least. The reality on site, unfortunately, reveals a grim glaciated island battered by harsh weather conditions, offering restricted visitor space only, hordes of Antarctic fur seals crowding the narrow beaches, and therefore brings about more cancelled landing attempts than supposably in the rest of the Antarctic. Located between King George Island and Clarence Island, the Elephant Island group comprises various islands such as Clarence, Gibbs, Aspland, Cornwallis plus a number of smaller islands. Elephant Island itself is the largest of the group measuring about 37 km / 23 miles in length and 21 km / 13 miles breadthwise. It was discovered by Edward Bransfield in late January or early February 1820. The following summer of 1820-1821, Captain Robert Fildes (a sealer from Liverpool in his brig Cora, and later in the vessel Robert, who prepared the first comprehensive sailing directions for the South Shetlands) further charted the island and named it Sea Elephant Island after the many Elephant seals that he had encountered there. Elephant Island was the landfall in mid-April 1916 of the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton following their epic drift of about five months on the packice of the Weddell Sea after the loss of their expedition vessel Endurance. Their actual first landing on the island was at Cape Valentine: (61°06' S / 54°39' W) at the east point of Elephant Island, which was named by Bransfield on St. Valentine’s Day, 14th February 1820.
Modern polar cruises nowadays aim for two locations on Elephant Island: Point Wild (see there) and Point Lookout. Point Wild (61°06’ S / 54°52’ W) is located about 10 km / 6 miles from Cape Valentine on the north coast of Elephant Island. Here, Shackleton and five of his men boarded their lifeboat James Caird to try to organise a rescue party for the 22 others of the Endurance-crew necessitating the crossing of one of the roughest waters in the world in order to reach South Georgia being 1300 km / 800 miles away. Those left behind at Point Wild had to camp below their upturned boat for four and a half months until they were rescued on 30th August 1916. A concrete monolith with a bronze bust can be seen from the zodiacs that was erected by Chile in honor of Captain Pardo of the Chilean navy cutter Yelcho who successfully rescued those men. If your landing on that Antarctic Historic Site should be prevented by weather, you can still take a photograph of this monument because there is a replica of it sited at the Chilean base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva on King George Island and at Capitan Arturo Prat on Greenwich Island. And even parts of the old Yelcho can be found – for this, however, passengers on board their Antarctica cruise vessels must carefully observe downtown Puerto Williams when their ship is passing this settlement heading to or from Ushuaia in the Beagle Channel. After the Yelcho was retired from active duty in the Chilean navy in 1945, it was used as a ship’s tender at the Chilean School for Cabin Boys until 1958. Finally, she was sold off, but her bow remains as a monument in the centre of Puerto Williams. The second spot of interest for Antarctica voyages on Elephant Island is Point Lookout (61°17’ S / 55°13’ W) marking the southern end of Elephant Island. It comprises of a steep bluff rising to 240 m / 790 feet which first attracted the attention of the British sealer Captain George Powell who had marked it on his map of 1822. There is a narrow spit of land to the west of the bluff where zodiacs of Antarctica cruise ships may try their luck. However, the prospective landing beach is exposed on three sides to swell, waves and wind, is rocky and offers almost no space for visitors due to topography, tide, density of nesting penguins, and hauled-out seals. If you should make to one of those points, here is the wildlife to expect there:

Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva Station / King George Island

Formerly called Teniente Rodolfo Marsh, this Chilean Antarctic base began to operate in 1969. Being the most important Antarctic base for Chile, Frei Station has an airstrip (runway length: 1300 m / 0.8 miles) that serves many other bases on the island and can also be used for air evacuation by Antarctic expeditions. In the immediate vicinity, just about 250 m / 800 feet away, is the Russian station Bellingshausen (see there). There is a tiny shop selling souvenirs and a museum having some geological findings on display. The maximum summer population represents 150 persons including families with children (in winter: averagely 80 persons) living comfortably in the 35 buildings of the station. In early November – at the onset of the Antarcitc summer season – the sea ice in Maxwell Bay starts to break. During the southern summer when about 40 Antarctic cruise ship visits are registered, the sea as well as the land area adjacent to the station is free of ice and snow (fast ice starts forming in late July). The following scientific activities are carried out here: Cosmic ray observations, Geodesy and mapping, Ionospheric/auroral observations, limnology, meteorology, seismology, stratospheric ozone monitoring and tide measurements.

Half Moon Island

Located on southwest side of McFarlane Strait, in the entrance of Moon Bay on the east side of Livingston Island, this tiny, crescent-shaped island is only 2 km / 1,25 miles long. Nineteenth-century sealers who might have used the spot as a protected anchorage roughly charted the island. Nathaniel Palmer probably made the first landing on 18th November 1820. Named Half Moon Island from its conspicuous shape. In March 1952, Argentina established a station called Teniente Cámara (after Juan Ramón Cámara, who was accidentally killed by a helicopter blade at Potter Cove, King George Island, on 15th January 1955) at the head of the harbour on the east side of the island and formally opened it on 1 April 1953. The base remained permanently occupied until 1960 when it became a summer only station. For most modern Antarctic expeditions, Half Moon Island is one of the first landing possiblities in the South Shetland Islands after having crossed the Drake Passage from Ushuaia – or one of the last stops before proceeding north across the Drake. The island is worthy of being called “lovely” because a lot of great Antarctic wildlife can be encountered here in a spectacular surrouding.

Hannah Point / Livingston Island

This point consits of a narrow isthmus and is located at the eastern entrance of Walker Bay on the south coast of Livingston Island, and divides Walker Bay with its sheer endless icy glacier cliffs from South Bay. The first survey of the area by Captain Robert Fildes (a sealer from Liverpool in his brig Cora, and later in the vessel Robert, who prepared the first comprehensive sailing directions for the South Shetlands) in 1820-1821 had not yet been quite finished when the British sealing ship Hannah of Liverpool (Captain James Johnson) was wrecked here on 25th December 1820. Filde’s original name for this area, Black Point, was then changed into Hannah Point accordingly. The site is a popular landing spot for Antarctica cruise passengers though quite exposed to wind and waves. Hannah Point is a safe bet for those eager to observe Southern elephant seals – and nesting Macaroni penguins, which are rare in the Antarctic Peninsula. Large areas of ground are surprisingly covered by algae, moss and lichens. Extensive beds of the green alga Prasiola crispa will catch your eye on land.

Jubany Station / King George Island

Argentina’s scientific base Teniente Jubany is located in Potter Cove, a small bay on the east side of the entrance to Maxwell Bay. The first shelter was built in November 1953 and named after Lieutenant José Jubany, a navy aviator who died in an accident in 1948 near Río Gallegos in Argentina. Jubany station shares the magnificent view into Potter Cove with its nearest neigbour, Korea’s King Sejong Station which is about 7 km / 4.5 miles away. The station is in operation since January 1982, has 11 buildings and can accommodate up to 100 people in the summer. The average winter crew numbers 20. In January 1994, the German Alfred-Wegener- Institut (AWI) together with the Instituto Antártico Argentino (IAA) opened the Dallmann Laboratory at Jubany Station. This lab was the first scientific installation in Antarctica that was shared by several nations (Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands). The Dallmann-Laboratory has working and living space for 12 scientists and operates in the summer seasons only.

King George Bay / King George Island

Between Lions Rump and Penguin Island (see there) indenting King George Island. The bay was charted on 22nd January 1820 by Edward Bransfield, who landed there and took formal possession of the island for King George III of England.

King George Island

This is the largest of the South Shetland Island group located northeast of Nelson Island and southwest of Elephant Island, extending from 57°35' to 59°02'W. King George Island was discovered on its norht coast by William Smith on 16th October 1819: Smith undertook the first landing in Antarctica (at Esther Harbour: 61°55' S / 57°57' W). Britan claimed the new land thereafter under the name of New South Britain. King George Island measures about 95 km / 55 miles in length; its width is up to 30 km / 19 miles. More than 90% is covered by ice with maximal glacier thickness of 326 m. The island is home to various scientific stations of countless nations that concentrate on its southwestern part.

Maxwell Bay / King George Island

A large open bay at the southwest coast of King George Island, between Duthoit Point mopn Nelson Island, and Stranger Point on King George Island. On the shores of Maxwell Bay, there is a large number of international scientific stations. Nineteenth-century sealers charted the bay. Named after Lieut. (later Commander) Francis Maxwell of the Royal Navy (1789-1863), with whom Weddell had served in HMS Avon from 1813-14, the first of six ships of the Royal Navy with that name.

Neptunes Bellows / Decption Island

Neptunes Bellows is the breathtaking, narrow and only entrance to the caldera, the flooded crater called Port Foster of Deception Island (see there), restricted between Fildes Point in the north of the entrance, and Entrance Point to the south of it. Captain Robert Fildes, in 1821, writes about this gap: "The entrance is by the Americans called Neptune's Billow's (presumably in error for Neptune's Bellows) owing to the gusts that blow in and out as if they came through a trumpet or funnell [sic]... .”. Steep lava rocks on the northern side and a narrow navigation channel make this short stretch of your Antarctic cruise an unforgettable one – which also applies to the captains of modern Antarctica cruise vessels. As a reminder the wreck of the British seal catcher Southern Hunter can still be seen on the volcanic shore in a small cove near Entrance Point; it run aground here on New Year’s Eve 1957. Neptunes Bellows is about 800 m / 2600 feet long and 600- 700 m / 2000-2300 feet wide.

Neptunes Window / Deception Island

Located to the southeast of Whalers Bay (see there) this narrow gap between two rock pillars was named Neptunes Window, because weather and ice conditions in the approach to Neptunes Bellows (see there) can conveniently be observed from this gap. The Window can be reached in a half-hour stroll along the beach from the landing spot at Whalers Bay. Legend goes that the American sealing Captain Nathaniel Palmer had seen the Antarctic continent for the first time from up there in 1820.

Pendulum Cove / Decption Island

Located at the northeast side of Port Foster (see there) within the crater of Deception Island, this stretch of flat black sand beach is entirely composed of loose cinders and was charted and so named by Captain Henry Foster of the British Royal Naval vessel HMS Chanticleer in 1829 from the pendulum station which he established there for gravity measurements. Pendulum operations, and next to them the determination of longitude by means of ships’ chronometers and to find out the true figure of the Earth were the principal objects of the voyage of the Chanticleer between April 1828 and May 1830. Foster had three different pendulums with him: brass invariable pendulums, iron convertible pendulums and copper convertible ones. Alltogether, he made 1017 pendulum experiments on that voyage which occupied him during 2710 hours, or 16 weeks in total. An Argentine hut was established on the cove on 4th April 1949, but was later dismantled by the Argentines, and re-established in December 1953 and called Teniente Lasala. A station, manned by Chilean Air Force personnel was established here in January 1955, with the name Presidente Pedro Aguirre Cerda after Pedro Aguirre Cerda (1879-1941), President of Chile in the years 1938-41. The Chilean station served as a meteorological and volcanological centre, and had to be evacuated following the volcanic eruption at Deception Island on 4th December 1967, but was subsequently occupied seasonally until destroyed by a further eruption in February 1969. These eruptions also reduced the extent of the cove. A short distance inland from the usual landing spot, Antarctica cruise passengers may see the ruins of the base Pedro Aguirre Cerda. Wildlife: very scarce. Antarctic terns are seen at times feeding on dead krill that was boiled by the geothermal heat and is floating near the shore.

Penguin Island

Located southeast of Turret Point (see there) on King George Island, and between King George Bay (see there) and Sherratt Bay, Penguin Island rises to the young volcanic crater of Deacon Peak (volcanic cone, summit 170m). This small island is just about 1.5 km / 1 mile long. It was Edward Bransfield who roughly charted it on 22nd January 1820, and named the spot because of the numerous penguins, which disputed the landing of a party for drinking water needed on board their vessel Williams.

Point Wild / Elephant Island

A truly wild, barren but historic point to the east of Cape Belsham on Elephant Island (see there). Those men writing polar history here were the ones who mapped the area while shipwrecked on Point Wild between 17th April and 30th August 1916. Those men of 22 were the party of the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition under the command of Sir Ernest Shackleton who himself with five others had set off in their lifeboat James Caird to look for help on faraway South Georgia. The castways wintered on the point following the loss of Endurance in the Weddell Sea (see there). Shackleton named the place Cape Wild, or Point Wild, after John Robert Francis ("Frank") Wild (1874-1939), member of that expedition and famous British Antarctic explorer, who was in command of the wintering party in 1916.

Port Foster / Deception Island

This landlocked basin (190 m / 620 fee deep) on Deception Island is about 9 km / 5.5 miles long from northwest to southeast, and about 6.5 km / 4 miles wide. Port Foster forms a natural harbor and actually is the drowned and breached volcanic crater of Deception Island, as so-called caldera. The only entrance is through Neptunes Bellows (see there), a short but very narrow channel. It was discovered by Nathaniel Palmer on 15th November 1820 and charted in the following year by Captain Robert Fildes (a sealer from Liverpool in his brig Cora, and later in the vessel Robert, who prepared the first comprehensive sailing directions for the South Shetlands). Port Foster has its name from Captain Henry Foster of the Royal Navy, who made pendulum and magnetic observations at Pendulum Cove (see there) in 1829. The origin of this polar caldera dates back to about 10’000 years ago. A violently explosive eruption must then have catapulted about 30 cubic kilometers of lava from Deception Island. The summit of the volcano collapsed and formed the Port Foster caldera. Classified by volcanologists a “restless caldera”, the geothermal heat is apparent even today. The water in Port Foster, for example, is warmer than the sea surrounding the volanco because of countless fumaroles that are still active. Visitors will immediately notice the steaming black beaches, mainly at low tide

Telefon Bay / Decption Island

Located at the northwest end of Port Foster (see there) on Deception Island (see there), the landscape at Telefon Bay resembles the surface of the moon, or Mars, perhaps. Being the site of the most recent volcanic eruption at Deception Island, the place is barren – and fascinating. The French expedition leader Charcot named the area Baie du Telefon in 1909, after the steam ship Telefon, which was beached for the winter of 1909 in this bay awaiting repairs. An Argentine refuge was established on the southwest side of the bay in March 1949. A volcanic eruption in December 1967 formed an ephemeral new island in the bay (Islote Marinero Suárez). A Chilean refuge hut was totally destroyed by a volcanic eruption in February 1969. Nearby glaciers are covered under a thick deposits of volcanic ashes and cinder retarding their melting. Telefon Bay is a great place for a guided hike offering excellent views into Port Foster and to the rims of the volcano.

Turret Point / King George Island

Forming the eastern limit of King George Bay (see there), Turret Point is located on the southern shore of King George Island. The conspicuous rock stags on Turret Point are a well-defined landmark when approaching the area.

Whalers Bay / Decption Island

Located on the northern side of Neptunes Bellows (see there) between Penfold Point and Fildes Point in Port Foster (see there), Whalers Bay is often visited by Antartica cruises. The ruins of the former whale-processing plant have been eternized on sumless photographs. Nineteenth-century sealers knew Whalers Bay probably by the name Deception Harbour. Jean-Baptiste Charcot of the French Antarctic Expedition charted the spot in December 1908. He named it Anse des Baleiniers (whalers bay) or L'Anse des Baleiniers because whalers heavily used it at that time. The headquarters for a British Magistrate was established on the bay in 1909 and occupied continuously by magistrates until 1931. In the 1912-13 season, the Hektor Whaling Company erected their factory on the bay, and processed the first whale on Christmas Day 1912. In the heyday of whaling 13 floating factory ships operated out of Whalers Bay. The factory continued to operate each season until 1931. Between November 1928 and January 1929, the Australien explorer and pilot George Hubert Wilkins used Whalers Bay as his base for flying operations with a skiequipped Lockheed Vega monoplane. His flight of 16th November 1928 was the first one ever made in Antarctica. In the 1929-30 season, Wilkins again used the bay as a base for the initial flying before moving to Port Lockroy. The Falkland Islands Dependencie FIDS station, called Base B or Deception Island, was established here on 6th February 1944. The base burned down in September 1946, and was immediately rebuilt in the following season. From then, it was continuously occupied until 5th December 1967, when it had to be closed down following volcanic eruptions. The British station was used as a base for air operations of the British Antarctic Service BAS between December 1968 and February 1969, when further volcanic activity severely damaged the British station and totally destroyed the old whaling factory. Nearby Kroner Lake is the only geothermal lagoon in the Antarctic and as such a Specially Protected Area. From a tourist point of view, Whalers Bay is one of the rare spots in Antarctica where there is some snow-free ground to walk on – within the limits and rules set by the Antarctic Treaty. However, wildlife is scarce. A small pond just behind the landing beach is normally frequented by dozens of skuas that are bathing there. This gives an excellent oportunity to study and photograph those great birds from close. Other wildlife inlcude Antarctic fur seals, the occasianal Weddell seal, Kelp gulls, Antarctic terns and nesting Cape petrels and Wilson’s stormpetrels (at Neptunes Window). Penguins get lost in very low numbers inside Port Foster. Every now and then, a few find there way into the caldera and are standing forlorn on the steaming beaches. At low tide, when more of the black, sandy, volcanic

Yankee Harbor / Greenwich Island

This small harbour is surrounded by glaciers on one side and a curved gravel spit made up of coarse gravel and cobbles on the other. It is located between Glacier Bluff and Spit Point on Greenwich Island, forming the inner part of the bay east of Triangle Point. Yankee Harbour was probably first entered by Nathaniel Palmer in November 1820 and first called Port Williams, possibly after the brig Williams. Its second name Yanky Harbor derived Captain E. Fanning's American sealing fleet from Stonington, Connecticut, which was based there in the 1820-21 seasons. No wonder that Antarctic cruise ship passengers today come across old trypots from those early sealing activities.

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