To Plunge or NOT to Plunge - The Classic Antarctic Dilemma

The first time I heard about the hot springs of Deception Island I imagined a visit to Calistoga, California with its spa like setting. So when the zodiac finally carried me to the steaming shore at Deception Island I imagined a bit of Polar Pampering was in order.  However I soon discovered the challenge was to find a spot in the glacial waters where like Goldie Locks says, "it's just right”.

Steam in Antarctica

In past years, the expedition staff would dig a large pit along the shore to bring the heated spring to life but concern for the environment has changed that. Now you really are encouraged to take the plunge into the frigid water of the caldera itself. 

I admit I’ve succumbed to the insanity of the Polar plunge at Deception Island. Racing into the water I attacked it like ripping off a Band-Aid, and I was quickly over my head in salty, glacial water. I was in luck the ship had dug a soaking pit.  Scorching water and hard, heated, volcanic pebbles warmed my shivering body. My skin felt taut and papery as I dried off for my ride back to the ship. Hot chocolate was calling my name.

But Deception isn’t the only place that Antarctic passengers are taking the plunge these days.  One expedition leader refused to offer it at Deception saying that Neko Harbor with its colder water (3 degrees C) was the true test of his passenger’s metal.

Whether you are ready to take the polar plunge yourself or watch the brave or perhaps crazy swim in the icy water it is a humorous pastime on any Antarctic adventure. We encourage you to like this post, and let us know in a comment whether you are game for the plunge. Challenge a friend by passing this post on!

Water Temp just right