Very popular as a first or last stop before the Drake Passage
Rating: * * * *
Half Moon Island is one of the most beautiful sites in the South Shetlands. Sharply craggy slabs of rock covered in brilliant orange, yellow and black lichens provide nesting sites for Chinstrap penguins that have some of the best views around. Glacier-covered Livingston Island is visible from most points of the island.
Where is it?
In the South Shetland Islands, tucked into Moon Bay of eastern Livingston Island.
The cobble beach is a little steep and there can be a bit of swell, but generally this is one of the easier landing sites and shore parties can do as much or little as they wish.
A large, active Chinstrap penguin colony (over 3,000 breeding pairs) is the main attraction, and there is an Antarctic cormorant colony on the southern tip of the island. Antarctic terns, Kelp gulls, Snowy sheathbills and usually a few Weddell seals are also usually found on shore. Nesting skuas will make themselves known to those who cross over into their territory. Later in the season, Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals will haul out and rest on the beaches.
Camara Station, run by the Argentines, is situated in the middle of the island. This small base, established in 1953, was underutilised and largely abandoned for many years, but is now occupied for most of the summer season.
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