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D’Hainaut Island, Mikkelsen Harbour


63° 54′ S


60° 47′ W


D’Hainaut Island is a small, largely flat, rocky island (less than 1 sq km). The island is situated in Mikkelsen Harbour a 3km wide bay, lined with ice cliffs, indenting the south side of Trinity Island between Skottsberg and Borge Point. The island is often snow covered until late in the season and there are a number of shallow reefs in the waters surrounding the island.


The Island was charted by Jean Charcot’s French expedition aboard Pourquoi Pas, and named by the Chileans in 1952 after Lt Ladislao D’Hainaut. Floating factory whaling took place in Mikkelsen Harbour in the early years of the 20th Century. It is not known which of the several Mikkelsen whaler captains the harbour was named after. The remains of wooden casks, Jölle water boats and whale carcasses dating to this period may be seen at the landing beach. There is a semi derelict Argentine refuge on the Island, ‘Capitan Galette Bois’ which was established by the Argentine Naval Hydrographic department in December 1954.


Snow algae may be extensive in late summer. Moss, spp. Prasiola crispaXanthoria, spp. Caloplaca spp. and Verrucaria spp. noted.



confirmed breeders: gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) snowy sheathbills (Chionis alba), skuas (Catharacta spp.), Dominican gulls (Larus dominicanus), Antarctic terns (Sterna vittata).


Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) and Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) frequently haul out and crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) and leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are regularly sighted in the vicinity.

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