NEKO HARBOUR AND ERRERA CHANNEL, ANTARCTICA

ESPAÑOL

  • I was here the afternoon of December 28, 2007 for about 4 hours.
  • My score: 4/5.

Leaving Cuverville Island behind we continue towards Neko Harbour, the first stop of the trip on the continent as such, since so far all our stops in Antarctica had been made on islands. To get there, the most natural way is the small Errera Channel, located south of Cuverville.

ERRERA CHANNEL

Discovered and crossed for the first time by the same Belgian expedition that discovered Cuverville Island in 1897, it runs between Ronge Island and Danco Coast. It measures about 10 kilometers long and is quite wide. Its main attraction is the presence of icebergs that emerge from the glaciers that flow into the bay where Neko Harbour is, although in our case, the sightings of these usually beautiful pieces of floating ice were not significant, much better were those around Cuverville Island and those we already found in Neko Harbour itself.

Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica (2)
In some parts the banks of the Errera Canal are barely distinguished
Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica (3)
Another image that shows the width of the channel
Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica Alwashere
On top of the ship
Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica (5)
A large iceberg
Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica
And another little one by the coast
Canal Errera, Antartida. Errera Channel Antarctica (4)
During navigation on the canal the fog prevented seeing the landscape properly

NEKO HARBOUR

This is where the good begins. Neko Harbour is a magnificent natural harbor south of Andvord Bay, just where the Errera Canal ends, so much that a Scottish whaling ship, the Neko, used it as a base of operations for several seasons between 1911 to 1924, giving it its name.

Antartida Puerto Neko, Antarctica Neko Harbour
Andvord Bay seen from the boat

The bay is closed enough for huge glaciers to surround it on 3 of the 4 sides, cracking at the touch of the sea, Neko Harbour being one of the places with the largest number of icebergs on the Antarctic Peninsula, which are its main attraction.

Icebergs Antartida Puerto Neko, Antarctica Neko Harbour
Icebergs seen from the ship
Icebergs Antartida Puerto Neko Antarctica Neko Harbour
An iceberg of intense blue color
Icebergs Antartida Puerto Neko Antarctica Neko Harbour (3)
A small iceberg off the coast
Icebergs Antartida Puerto Neko Antarctica Neko Harbour (2)
Iceberg to the left of the image illuminated by a shy sunbeam
Glaciares Antartida Puerto Neko, glaciers Antarctica Neko Harbour
Mouth of a glacier in the bay
Glaciares Antartida Puerto Neko, glaciers Antarctica Neko Harbour (2)
The glacier is out of sight above the mountains. In the water you can see one of our zodiac boats

In addition to the icebergs, in Neko Harbour we also had our first contact with a type of animals that we had not seen so far, the seals, of which we sighted 3 types:

  • Crabeater seal. This type of seal is a paradox itself, since it does not eat crabs, although small crustaceans, and never having seen it, it turns out to be one of the most common mammals on the planet, with a population of more than 15 million individuals (some studies suggest that its population could reach 75 million). It is typical of Antarctica, although it can be found in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the southern cone of South America. Adult specimens weigh between 200 and 300 kg and their coat changes from light brown from summer to dark brown in winter. Live on the floating ice blocks.
Antartida Puerto Neko foca cangrejera Antarctica Neko Harbour crabeater Seal
A crabeater seal with the appearance of being very stressed
Antartida Puerto Neko foca cangrejera Antarctica Neko Harbour crabeater Seal (3)
Three crabeater seals. The one on the right is moving the fur from winter to summer
Antartida Puerto Neko foca cangrejera Antarctica Neko Harbour crabeater Seal (2)
Two other crabeater seals. The one on the right is also moving the fur from winter to summer
  • Weddell seal. This seal reaches twice the size and weight of its neighbor the crabeater, being one of the largest seals that exist. It lives basically in Antarctica, in fact it is considered the mammal that lives further south of the planet, but some specimens have also been seen on the coasts of Oceania, Africa and South America. Its coat is dark gray with frequent light gray spots and some black spots. These seals are famous for being able to dive up to 600 meters deep. It is believed that there are about 500,000 specimens.
Antartida Puerto Neko foca de Weddell Antarctica Neko Harbour Weddell Seal
Weddell seal
Antartida Puerto Neko foca de Weddell Antarctica Neko Harbour Weddell Seal (2)
Another Weddell seal on a blue iceberg
  • And the most striking is the Leopard Seal, and it is that aggressive carnivores are usually the ones that cause the most fascination. This seal also eats small crustaceans, squid, cod and those things as healthy as its congeners, but it goes for everything that moves and fits in its mouth, which includes any penguin that comes close to it and even other seals, especially if they are young. Everything in its form reminds of a predator; the head is sharp and the thorax much wider than that of other seals, with powerful front fins. The head and back are dark gray and the belly light gray; females are almost twice as large as males, reaching some 600 kg. This type of seal sometimes reaches more north than the previous ones, with sightings in Cook Islands and Brazil.
Antartida Puerto Neko foca Leopardo, Antarctica Neko Harbour Leopard Seal (2)
Leopard seal and a glacier in the background
Antartida Puerto Neko foca Leopardo, Antarctica Neko Harbour Leopard Seal
Another leopard seal, with a not friendly face
Antartida Puerto Neko foca Leopardo y pinguinos Gentu, Antarctica Neko Harbour Leopard Seal and Gentoo penguins
This is one of my favorite photos of Antarctica: a leopard seal stalking two Gentoo penguins in the water, waiting for them to jump off the iceberg
Antartida Puerto Neko pinguinos Gentu, Antarctica Neko Harbour Gentoo penguin
Because we also saw a colony of these penguins

And of course, a great attraction in Neko Harbour is to step on the continent as such for the first time. We spend a lot of time in the zodiacs and hardly any time in the port, but there are excursions that even small walks are allowed.

Antartida Puerto Neko, Antarctica Neko Harbour Alwashere
Walking on the Antarctic Peninsula for the first time
Antartida Puerto Neko, Antarctica Neko Harbour Argentinian argentina base
There is an Argentine shelter, which is not a base, Naval Capitán Fliess

<FULL CRUISE ITINERARY TO ANTARCTICA

<DRAKE PASSAGE

<HALF MOON ISLAND

<DECEPTION ISLAND

<CUVERVILLE ISLAND

PARADISE BAY>

PORT LOCKROY>

LEMAIRE CHANNEL>

PLENEAU ISLAND>

PETERMANN ISLAND>

∇ Destinations / ∇ Antarctica

6 thoughts on “NEKO HARBOUR AND ERRERA CHANNEL, ANTARCTICA

  1. Pingback: PUERTO NEKO Y CANAL DE ERRERA, ANTÁRTIDA – Al Was Here

  2. Pingback: CUVERVILLE ISLAND, ANTARCTICA – Al Was Here

  3. Pingback: HALF MOON ISLAND, ANTARCTICA – Al Was Here

  4. Pingback: DECEPTION ISLAND, ANTARCTICA – Al Was Here

  5. Pingback: DRAKE PASSAGE OR SEA OF HOCES – Al Was Here

  6. Pingback: Antarctica – Al Was Here

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