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Panoramas Neko Harbour


Neko Har­bour is a smal­ler side bay on the nort­hern coast of Andvord Bay, which cuts into the west coast of the Ant­arc­tic Pen­in­su­la at 64°50’S. As any­whe­re in the area, the coast con­sists main­ly of cal­ving gla­cier fronts, occa­sio­nal­ly steep rock cliffs, so step­ping on the coast of the actu­al con­ti­nent is pos­si­ble only at a few pla­ces. Neko Har­bour is one of the­se. Solid crust of gra­ni­tic com­po­si­ti­on situa­ted on the coast­li­ne of the con­ti­nent its­elf, that is good enough to con­vin­ce both geo­lo­gists and tou­rists.

The sce­ne­ry is stun­ning. A huge gla­cier has its cal­ving front just a few hund­red meters from the sto­ny lan­ding site. The bay is accord­in­gly often fil­led with brash ice. If this is blo­cking the shore, then the result is bad luck inde­ed … and awa­reness is nee­ded if you move around near the shore in the vicini­ty of the gla­cier. Should it cal­ve, then you have to move up and away from the coast quick­ly (or towards deeper waters if you are in a boat), other­wi­se you will be in deep trou­ble soon due to the wave that fol­lows every major cal­ving.

Neko Har­bour was dis­co­ve­r­ed in ear­ly 1898 by Adri­en de Ger­la­che from Bel­gi­um and named after a Nor­we­gi­an wha­ling ship that ope­ra­ted in the area from 1911 to 1924.

A nice day in Neko Har­bour is tru­ly a tas­te of Ant­arc­tic para­di­se. Several hund­red Gen­too pen­gu­ins breed the­re, and often Leo­pard seals are lur­king in the water, wai­t­ing for the careless pen­gu­in. Min­ke wha­les are qui­te fre­quent­ly seen. You will have a gre­at view over Neko Har­bour and Andvord Bay from the hill abo­ve the colo­ny.

Some remains of an emer­gen­cy shel­ter des­troy­ed during a storm some years ago give tes­ti­mo­ny to the ama­zing for­ces of natu­re that can rage in Ant­arc­ti­ca.

The wea­ther was a bit grey when I took the­se pan­ora­mas in mid Novem­ber 2013. The­re was still a lot of snow on the ground. It was an unf­or­gett­able morning for all invol­ved, and it even clea­red up to clear sunshi­ne in the after­noon.


last modification: 2019-02-05 · copyright: Rolf Stange