Saturday, February 09, 2008

Deception Island

Every day here is filled with so many experiences that it would fill volumes. It's hard to contain myself sometimes on the blog and not bore you too much, but there is much to tell.
Finally we got some sleep after our long day yesterday. 7am wake up call - we were at the mouth of Deception Island. I was thrilled. I had been looking forward to this since we planned the trip. Deception Island is a huge, still active volcano that last erupted in 1970. Think of it as a circle with a small entrance to the inside. A picture is worth a thousand words. The best way to describe the look is to click on this link. The entrance to this massive bay is called Neptune's Bellows as it is a narrow channel that swirls with eddys on most days and a ship must watch closely not to be run up on the rocks. Today, the sea was calm and we sailed easily in. We parked just off of Whaler's Bay and lowered the zodiacs. There are many bays within this large bay, and whaler's bay is where whaling operations ran from ~ 1905 to 1928. It's like a ghost town with whale bones, large blubber oil storage tanks, old whaling skiffs and all sorts of wonderful relics to entertain us. We spent hours here running up and down miles of black lava sand beaches taking pictures of everything.

As I made my way back in the zodiac I was feeling a little bummed as I had a spot on my camera. I had to get back to the ship and clean it as we were due to disembark an hour later. Today was to be a busy day and I certainly didn't want to miss a thing. In the room I went to clean the mirror inside the camera (a task I've done before on my Nikon film camera) and all of a sudden out popped 3 pieces (the focusing assembly). I was horrified. What was I going to do? I dropped to my knees and started to cry. Here's my $ 1,000 camera, my $ 10,000 trip and there will be no pictures. Then an idea ocurred to me. We have a National Geographic photographer (pulitzer prize winner) on board and he is sponsored by Olympus, my camera's brand. Perhaps he can help. I was nauseous. I waited like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs by the zodiac disembarkation hatch for Jay Dickman to arrive. Each boat that came raised my anxiousness. He said he would try to help later in the evening as he only had time to change for the next trip but in the meantime he had a spare camera body for me. Wow, imagine my luck. Well, I'll make a long story short, this evening he popped the pieces in and all seems to be running fine. Tomorrow we shall see if it holds up. Wish me luck.
Speaking of award winning photographers.......tonight Jay did a photo critique of photos that we were allowed to submit from yesterday. Both Arlene and I received kudos for some of our photos. Arlene received great praise for her shots of "inside the life of a ship" and I got one for the sunset shot (as well as a few others). There were many awesome pictures and much was learned. Scroll down for photos.....


Joan said...

Ah...I remember Deception Island. I have photos with me in my swimming suit, sitting in the water just at the shoreline, in the black lava sand. We had to channel water from the shoreline, which was hot, to mix with the frigid water. It made for a nice tepid respite. A couple of very brave souls actually ventured out into the freezing water in order to get their picture taken. That wasn't for me!

I love your blog and your pictures! Thank you for all of the time you spend on it.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Joan's pictures. Dawn, what amazing luck about your camera and may I say how freaken jealous I am!!! A National Geographic Photographer! I would be his bitch for a change to talk to him. Wow. I just so cannot wait to hear more stories!


PS - I LOVE the shot of Dena with the Iceberg! (The ship in the background makes it that much more awesome!)