Wreck Hunting in Antarctica

Wait, what?

As most know, I’m a self-confessed wreck junkie. If there is rust, I’ll find it. So, a trip to Antarctica was truly outside of my “wheelhouse” (pun intended) and I was determined to find a wreck!

Of course, I would love to dive on Endurance but given that it is 3,000 meters / 10,000 feet deep and very far south in the Weddell Sea, that wasn’t an option. I would have to be content to visit Elephant Island which was a stopover for Shackleton and Deception Island where he had planned on going.

There is also the well-known Governoren wreck in Antarctica which is definitely dive-able, but we wren’t planning to stop there. 🙁

This was going to take some creativity….

The Wreck of Mikkelsen Harbor

There is a prominent wreck at Mikkelsen. In fact, if you look closely at the picture on the right, you can even see some rusted metal!

I believe that the crew (penguins) had long since abandoned ship and you can see them in the background.

Wrecks of Deception Island

Becky and I did manage to find a few wrecks on Deception Island. Unfortunately, they were above water.

Of course, Deception Island was a whaling and sealing port which meant there were plenty of ships there which also means there must be shipwrecks, right?

In fact, some of the wrecks were just a debris field, but I found and identified it nonetheless. These fellas were arguing about who caused the wreck. Maybe Shackleton did land at Deception Island after all?

And, some of the wrecks had become new homes for the locals.

I also did manage to find the remains of an underwater wreck! There was some wood on the dive which I’m sure was part of a ship at some point. Surely this counts as a wreck, right?

I included a close-up of the wood grain just in case there are some naysayers out there!

True Rust

And, as we were on the bus getting ready to depart the Hondius and head to the airport, I looked out the window and saw what I had been looking for the entire trip. A nice big chunk of rusted metal in the form of an anchor!

Fortunately, I didn’t find that particular anchor underwater. 🙂

Even though I didn’t see any “real wrecks,” it was still the “trip of a lifetime” that I’m fortunate to have taken.

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