Day-4 (21 November 2018) – Happy feet!

Sunrise: 03:38 | Sunset: 21:59
Note: the actual writing of this journal happens onboard Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol ship the same day, but published later
In top of every page about this journey to Antarctica, i display the sunrise and sunset time. Did you notice that the sunrise getting earlier and the sunset time getting later?
Anyway, Today is the day! I woke up early at 5 am, getting myself ready and headed to deck-6, to watch the boat entering the deception island through its hell’s gate. It was freezing cold but i was glad i made it. I secured a nice spot in front of the boat and watched the boat entering port foster. Although i only survived 10 minutes since i left my gloves inside, afraid that it might be difficult to operate the camera.
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Right after I took some pictures of deception island from the boat, i went for breakfast. Nice, usual breakfast, gotta eat much for today’s activities!!

After that, i pretty much spent my morning waiting to be called for landing. My turn supposed to be at 9:45. But i couldn’t wait that longer. I got myself ready at 8 am and seat nicely somewhere around the boat til my turn was up.

The landing procedure was quite tight actually. I had to wear whatever i needed to wear to keep myself warm, plus the outer waterproof jacket Hurtigruten gave me, the safety vest, and the waterproof boots. To make sure I wasn’t not frozen, i tripled almost everything. I wore inner extra-warm uniqlo long-sleeve shirt, outer warm long long-sleeve shirt, thick middle layer jacket, before the outer waterproof jacket. I also wore the warm, extra-warm, and ULTRA warm inner pants before the outer water repellant pants (wait, i think that makes them four layers already). i even wore 2 socks. Like a saying once i read says: there is no cold weather, only wrong outfit! I don’t want to be freezing while i supposed to enjoy the scenery and everything.

​When my group was called (i was on Humpback Whale) group, i went to the tender pit in deck-3 where the tender boat waited for us to the landing area in Deception Island.

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The tender boat. This is what we use to land from the bigger ship (MS midnatsol)

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How the passenger got out and helped by the crew to get in to the tender boat

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How the landing was done

I have to admit the scenery was amazing, there were already red flags along the allowed/safe path along the island, and crossed red flag as a sign for a no-go area. It was cool to be able to cruise and walk in an active volcano. The fog was everywhere, and if it wasn’t for the crowd, it must’ve felt like entering King Kong Island or skull Island. The sense of mystery and the fog, and the shape of the island really gave the thrilling feel.

​A bit about deception island, it was once a whaling center during 1900s and there were remains of tanks and old buildings of the vanished old industry visible when we entered the Whaling bay. There was once a science center built by Spanish and British government to monitor the Vulcanic activities of the area, but after the earthquake in 1969, the buildings were not rebuilt. What remains there nowadays is a summer science center. There was once a plan to build an airport as a point for landing in Antarctica.

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The gap in between peak is where we headed for the short hike

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The abandoned whaling facilities

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The remnants of whaling facilities

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View of the bigger ship MS Midnatsol, as we leave using tender boat

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Landing situation

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So happy to finally be able to land after few days at sea

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The fog and the mystical view of the island

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The situation at the island

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look at the beautiful landscape of Deception Island

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The abandoned old ship

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Excited for the short hike

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I did sweat during this hike, maybe because i was four-layered

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View from above, not so bad huh…

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How the boat looks small from the top of the hike
​There were not many penguins although i was happy to see few Gentoo penguins, a seal laying lazily on the beach, and the view of the entire island was pretty amazing.

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Gentoo Penguins breeding

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i counted only three penguins were at sight

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The sleeping seal

​I was happy to finally land after few days on the boat and it was a perfect day indeed. After landing, i attended session Titled “Penguins-who they are and why they fascinate us”. The session was carried out by oncologist, and the session gave away so many information about penguins. Some that i can take away are:

  1. It was not scientific, but the reason why we love penguins may have to do with how they look like us. They made for life, the breed, looks dapper, and look vulnerable.
  2. During the summer, they come to land to breed, some species has the female hatch the egg while the male ones search for food. Some species do it the other way around.
  3. The breeding period lasts for weeks (3-4 weeks), and the baby penguins will be fed by their mother
Why the penguins breed in colony? The answer has something to do with:
– Power in volume
– They can pass information easily on the food source and the predator
– Comfort/social needs​The predator of the penguins in Skua, a bird. They fly around the colony and looking for opportunities to steal any penguins’ eggs or baby penguins even.It was probably one of few presentations on board that i love.

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The presentation/lecture

​After lunch, i went for 14:30 session at the deck-8 about the deception island, and this time the session was brought by geologist, in a 360 panoramic room in deck-8, therefore she can explain the geology marks along the island while we’re seeing it.

At 17:30, there was a briefing about the plans on the next day and that we were going to go to Island named Cuverville Island and the weather forecast looks amazing.

At 20:30, i attended a photography class delivered by Karsten Bidstrup and Stefan Dahl, and then went sleep afterward. See you at Day-5

Asana Kusnadi
I'm Asana Kusnadi from Semarang Indonesia. Some of my friends call me Mei, it is taken from my Chinese Name. I was born in Semarang, capital city of Central Java and lived there until I graduated from University. After graduated i worked in Sumatera island and it's been almost 9 years now i live in Riau Province

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