South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

Jan 14, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

Today was a magical last day, one that will dance around in our hearts and minds for a long time to come. We began the day sailing into an active caldera, Deception Island, which last erupted in 1969 and wears the scars of its many eruptions inside the main caldera. Intrepid, sweaty hikers climbed to the top of the most recently formed caldera, while others, enjoying a more contemplative pace, explored Caldera Lake. 

In the afternoon, we were serenaded by the Antarctic symphony at Snow Hill: elephant seals belching and scratching during their catastrophic molt, nesting southern giant petrels, and a few wandering chinstrap and gentoo penguins. It was a magical day to take home in our memories as we begin our journey north through the Drake Passage.

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About the Author

Katie Crafts


As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what more of the world was like. In college, she spent six weeks on a tall ship, sailing from Massachusetts to the Caribbean using a sextant, and doing plankton tows at all hours of the days and nights. Through these experiences, she started to piece together the planet from a cultural and environmental perspective.

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