7:00 AM: Wake up to Mariano’s wake up call about entering Neptune’s Bellows in ten minutes. Jump out of bed and get changed – by the time I arrive on the deck, we’re already entering Deception Island. It’s a very surreal landscape outside, with snow covering the black volcanic sand of the island. The island is part of an active volcano – which accounts for its unique donut-like shape and “warm” water in its bay (in certain parts, the water reaches 70 degrees F).
9:00 AM: Land onto Deception Island, where we begin to tour the abandoned buildings of Whalers Bay. Originally, the island was a whaling outpost, but the industry faded once all the whale supply was exhausted.
We hike up to Neptune’s Window, which as a great view outside the island and to the waters below. After Neptune’s Window, we move on to the Polar Plunge. I’m still kicking myself over the fact that I didn’t just say F it! and run into the water myself. Nevertheless, it was good fun watching folks run in and curse all the while on the way out. The crew made sure to greet each of them with a shot of vodka upon making it back on land. Later on, one of the crew members “fell” overboard on a Zodiac – guessing someone lost a dare and had to pay up!
2:00 PM: After lunch, I catch up on my logs in the Panorama Lounge. The waters are getting quite choppy, and this is one of the more stable spots in the ship.