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Port Charcot


65° 04′ S


64° 02′ W


Port Charcot is a 2.4km wide bay at the north of Booth Island, an 8km long, Y-shaped island forming the western side of the Lemaire Channel. This bay lies on the north-western arm of the “Y” shore of Booth Island. From the southern beach of the NW arm (Salpêtrière Bay) the site rises through a gentle slope leading to the north to a 50m hill where remains of the Charcot’s expedition can be found. On the northern shore there is a small cobbled bay, Français Cove, on the north shore sheltered by two small offshore rocky islets and a series of rocky outcrops surround the bay.


The location is the overwintering site of the French Antarctic Expedition, 1903-1905 onboard the Français under the command of Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Remains from the expedition are still visible in the form of a cairn with a wooden pillar (designated HSM No. 28), the stone built magnetic hut, the wreck of a tender and other artifacts.


Snow algae may be extensive in late summer. Biota noted include: Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica), various moss species, algae including Prasiola crispa and lichens including Xanthoria spp., Caloplaca spp. and Verrucaria spp.



Confirmed breeders:  Adèlie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica), gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua), kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus), Antarctic terns (Sterna vittata), snowy sheathbills (Chionis alba), blue-eyed shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) Wilson’s storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), south polar skuas (Catharacta mccormicki) and skuas (Catharacta spp.).


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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