Leaving Deception Island, seen in the distance in this photo, we sailed south into the Bransfield Strait, meeting increasing numbers of ice floes and icebergs.
Here is a large tabular tilted iceberg in the setting sun.
Our expedition leader, Ollie Carlsson introduces Charles Swithinbank who delivered a dramatic account of the 1967 eruption that destroyed a Chilean base in the caldera we had just visited.
These attentive faces are an indication of how captivating Charles was. We had two or more conferences like this one every day. They were both instructive and entertaining and consequently well attended .
Then, five girls of the Russian crew celebrated "Yamarka" with us, offering the traditional salt and bread followed by songs and dances.
After this dance the girls invited passengers to join them and most of us shook a leg before enjoying an excellent Russian dinner.
Over night we sailed through Gerlache Strait and the Neumeyer Channel to reach the anchorage in front of Port Lockroy a British base built in 1944 to report of the weather and any eventual enemy activity. See if you can spot the base along the shores in this moving panorama made from ten photos taken from the Orlova's upper deck.
Port Lockroy base is not easy to find unless you know where to look. You can barely distinguish a couple of huts on the shore in this picture.
As usual we go ashore by zodiac leaving the Orlova behind us. If you look carefully you will see a second zodiac following ours on the right.
The spectacular scenery made the trip worthwhile even without the penguins, seals and whales not to mention the good food, entertaining conferences and congenial company on board.
Now you can see Locknoy base better as we approach.
Port Lockroy, discovered by the French in 1905 was used by whalers until around 1930. Locknoy Station, built in 1944, was abandoned in 1962 but it was renovated in 1996. The main building, Bransfield House was transformed into a historical museum staffed by volunteers of the British Antarctic Survey during the Antarctic summer.
Getting into and out of the zodiacs was now routine but there was always a strong armed staff to give us a hand.
Penguins incubating eggs wherever they found enough pebbles to build a nest. We were careful not to frighten them but they did not appear to be at all perturbed by our presence. A recent study has indeed shown that the reproduction rate of penguins in a nearby rookery that had been declared out of bounds was no better than that of the penguins living where more than 6000 tourists passed by every year
Here is a good view of a well built penguin nest.
The orange bill and white flash identify these as "Gentoo" penguins (pygoscelis papua).
They make their nests wherever pebbles are found, right up to the busy museum building.
They space their nests to be just out of pecking reach from other nesting penguins. Both members of a pair take turns incubating while the other goes fishing.
They are fascinating to watch. In this picture, the partner of the gentoo incubating on the lower right nest has just stolen a pebble from the nest on the left in spite of the loud complaints of its occupant.
The red stains around the nests indicate that they have been feeding on krill.
Locknoy Station is kept as a museum to show what life in Antarctica was like in the '50s but it is also an official British post office selling British Antarctic Territory postage stamps. It will also stamp your passport so you can show your friends that you have been here!
The machine in the foreground is a gasoline powered generator.
And here is a coal fired hot water heater along with a wind-up gramophone 78 rpm disk player.
Those were the days before the transistor when radio equipment used bulky, delicate "tubes" that would have been called "valves" by the British here.
The restored living quarters give a homey feel to the place.
Manning this station through the winter months when it was completely isolated must have been lonely but just look at the fabulous scenery those hermits could enjoy. For obvious reasons, Jansen Peak and the Fief mountains seen here, are better known as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.