Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz
January 4 - Whaler's Bay, Deception Island, South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula

After our hike around the more desolate part of the beach we got to explore the ruins left by two very different generations of inhabitants. Many metal oil drums and boilers and other equipment brought to the island with the establishment of a Norwegian-Chilean whaling station in 1906 have survived since they were abandoned at the close of the Great Depression. Because of volcanic activity and a wetter climate in this more northern region (as opposed to the drier one that has preserved much of Base W) these relics have rusted and decayed. [Map of Deception Island]

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Rustiana

Rustiana - Rusted completely through, this metal plate reminds me of an ancient world map. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Relics

Relics - The oil drums left behind from the old whaling base. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Ordered Deterioration 2

Ordered Deterioration 2 - I was taken aback by teh uniformity of this side wall of one of the handful of still-standing oil silos. A beautiful desktop picture that may outlive the structure itself. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Martian Chronicles

Martian Chronicles - It's really an earth-shifting moment when you realize that this landscape that looks so much like an abandoned ancient alien factory *is* an abandoned factory nearly a century old. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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There are also several buildings still standing. These however are newer than the oil drums and date back to the late 1960's when the British set up a research base. The base was abandoned in 1969 due to volcanic activity that eventually led to several mudslides that damaged and buried most of the equipment and buildings.

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Tommerm. Hans A. Culliksen

Tommerm. Hans A. Culliksen - Antarctic graveyard. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower - It's not Pisa, but rather an example of how fickle nature can be. This silo's base literally melted out from underneath it in a mudslide 50 years ago. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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The Middle of Nowhere

The Middle of Nowhere - Part of the British base before the mud slide. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Biscoe Stairs

Biscoe Stairs - Stairs going up the interior of Biscoe House. Note the wall just behind the stairs, and the large dovetail jointwork holding the corner together. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Through the Looking House

Through the Looking House - This is hands-down one of my favorite photos from the trip. This shot looks straight through a wide hole in the middle of Biscoe House, and into the misty volcanic landscape beyond. The roofline is sagging and will likely crash down within a few seasons, and the stovepipe that extends down from the roof stops at the ceiling, as if to stay clear of the shot through the house. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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The Great Beyond

The Great Beyond - Biscoe house, part of the British base before the volcanic mudslide. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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The Porch

The Porch - The porch of the Biscoe house, Deception Island British base. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Pressure Cap

Pressure Cap - Designed to withstand high pressure, this port in one of the rendering boilers speaks of solidity over time. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Treasure in Junk

Treasure in Junk - From the world of the whalers. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Connect Four

Connect Four - Detail shot of the side of one of the boilers. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Coexistence

Coexistence - Lichen measuring less than a tenth of an inch tall grows next to an errant spring lying on the ground. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Peeling

Peeling - This metal shroud encasing a boiler fights the rivets holding it in place as it tries, ever so slowly but inexorably, to peel away. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Much like the beach itself, the buildings were erie and surreal. They didn't belong here; it was like they were dropped here like Dorothy's house into Oz. Dropped into an inhospitable world that is slowly but inexorably eating it. As usual we had to be dragged back to the boat. Despite having been off the boat pretty much all day and being rather exhausted from this and the day's two earlier excusrions, the magic and mystery of this place were mesmerizing. Kevin and I were the last ones back on the boat. Tim actually came back just for us (and to bring his camera out because he left it on the ship and hadn't realized how perfect the light would be). Never enough time, and yet I suppose if they had given us more time throughout the trip we would have come home with 30,000 photographs instead of ONLY 18,000 or so.

Read the next chapter: Day 11: Emperor Penguins


Table of Contents:

Introduction: Telling the Story posted Jan 10, 2009

Day 0: Positioning posted Jan 12, 2009

Leaving, on a jet plane posted Jan 12, 2009

Day 1: The Herc posted Jan 15, 2009

Day 1: Penguino posted Jan 16, 2009

Day 2: Chicken posted Jan 17, 2009

Day 2: Leopard posted Jan 19, 2009

Day 2: Snow Day posted Jan 22, 2009

Day 2: Shipwreck posted Jan 26, 2009

Day 2: Totally Tabular posted Jan 27, 2009

Day 3: Gentoo Cute posted Jan 29, 2009

Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier posted Feb 3, 2009

Day 3: Palmer Station Visit posted Feb 9, 2009

Day 4: Icy Penguins posted Feb 11, 2009

Day 4: Adelie Awesome posted Feb 15, 2009

Day 4: Leopard Seal Attack posted Feb 17, 2009

Day 4: Kayak posted Feb 19, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Station Visit posted Feb 23, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Sunset posted Feb 25, 2009

Day 5: Antarctic Circle posted Feb 27, 2009

Day 5: Polar Plunge posted Mar 5, 2009

Day 5: Mouth of The Gullet posted Mar 13, 2009

Day 5: Ice Camping posted Mar 18, 2009

Day 6: Flamingos on Ice posted Mar 20, 2009

Day 6: Mountain Climbing posted Mar 24, 2009

Day 6: Ice Textures posted Mar 26, 2009

Day 6: Antarctic New Years posted Apr 2, 2009

Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker posted Apr 9, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 1 posted Apr 17, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 2 posted Apr 21, 2009

Day 8: Bird Watching in the Fish Islands posted Apr 23, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 1 posted May 5, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 2 posted May 11, 2009

Day 9: Port Lockroy - Base A posted May 20, 2009

Bonus Chapter: Baby Penguins! posted May 21, 2009

Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales posted June 3, 2009

Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding posted June 11, 2009

Day 10: Birthday Whales posted June 23, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds posted July 15, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals posted July 22, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 1: Walking on the Moon posted Dec 11, 2009

» Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz posted Dec 15, 2009

Day 11: Emperor Penguins posted Jan 8, 2010

Day 12: Black and White and Pink All Over posted Aug 4, 2011

More chapters posted every few days...



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