Travelling in Antarctica: Neptune’s Bellows, Deception Island
Location – Neptune’s Bellows, Deception Island, ANTARCTICA Position – 62o 59′ S/ 60o 34′ W Date – Friday 12th November 2010 Time – 6.30 am Weather – Windy and Cold
The entrance into Deception Island was full of marvel and wonder. It really was like a James Bond film scene. Even standing on deck waiting to pass through a narrow passage known as “Neptune’s Bellows” you could sense the mist of intrigue in the air.
It was cold and chilly on deck and a wee bit windy. A brave crowd had gathered on deck to view our narrow entrance through the slim channel into Deception Island.
To the right of our ship as the captain sailed her gallantly through the tight gap. Why a tight gap? you may ask and why make a big deal of it? The reason is…Deception Island, by its very shape is like a small “c” letter from a bird’s eye view.
And the entrance is like going into the letter “c” so this was a special slow motion part of the Antarctica adventure, another exciting time to be up on deck as the captain, Bulgarian Asparuh Chorbadzhiev sailed us into the narrow entrance at Neptune’s Bellows.
It was one of a few times I visited the Bridge during the sailing and it was quite busy – everyone wanted to hear and watch the captain at work in what is a tricky job.
There is a photo I took of the captain just as we were entering Neptune’s Bellows to head into Deception Island.
Wikipedia says this about “Neptune’s Bellows”: Neptune’s Bellows (63°0′S 60°34′W) is a channel on the southeast side of Deception Island forming the entrance to Port Foster, in the South Shetland Islands. The name, after the Roman sea god Neptune, was appended by American sealers prior to 1822 because of the strong gusts experienced in this narrow channel.
Despite strong winds, the captain steered the boat calmly through Neptune’s Bellows and into Deception Island where a magical experience lay ahead.