Take a swim in waters warmed by geothermal currents while penguin watching!
Pendulum Cove is a small bay on the northern side of the natural harbor formed by the flooded cone of the live volcano that is Deception Island. One of the South Shetland Islands, Deception offers several visitor points, of which Pendulum Cove is definitely worth a visit.
The cove came by its unusual name as it was named by the British expedition of Henry Foster in 1829. The site here was used by the explorers to take magnetic measurements as well as studying the movement of pendulums this close to the south pole. It was one of these experiments that gave the cove its name.
If setting foot on the other sites on Deception Island doesn’t feel like you are standing on an active volcano, Pendulum Cove will remind you! In places here, water heated by geothermal activity can reach 160F. Your expert Antarctic guide will show you safe areas where hot water mixes with the cold Antarctic seawater to provide a most unusual polar “spa” experience. It’s warm while you are in the water, but you might regret it when it’s time to get out and get dry!
There are Gentoo and chinstrap penguins on the beach, and they don’t seem to mind sharing their warm water with human visitors - just remember that in Antarctica, wildlife has the right of way!
This part of the volcanic crater was hit hardest by the last eruption in 1969. There is a historic site here, the remains of Chilean research station Base Aguirre Cerda that was overwhelmed. The twisted, rusting fragments of the remains can be viewed from a safe distance. A somber reminder of the forces still at work under your feet.
You may well see scientists at work and come across instruments. These are part of the real-time monitoring of seismic activity on Deception Island and Pendulum Cove in particular.
Interesting facts about Pendulum Cove
A range of scientific activities are normally carried out in the area. The remains of the abandoned Presidente Pedro Aguirre Cerda Station (Chile), Historic Site and Monument No. 76, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1967 are a dramatic visual representation of the force of a volcanic eruption. The station was inaugurated on February 1955 and supported research activities on volcanology, climatology and meteorology. In 1965 a weather forecasting office was installed in the station to provide regular and permanent information for the activities in the South Shetland Islands area. Its operation ended violently on December 1967, when a volcanic eruption destroyed it.
Pictures of Pendulum Cove
Highlights Close to Pendulum Cove
Northeast beach of Ardley Island
South Shetland Islands
Baily Head on Deception Island
Telefon Bay on Deception Island
Our trips to Pendulum Cove