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The Bay of Whales is a natural ice harbor, or iceport, indenting the front of Ross Ice Shelfmarker just north of Roosevelt Islandmarker.

Discovery and naming

The feature was named by Ernest Shackleton in the Nimrod on January 24, 1908, because of the large number of whales seen he saw at this location.

The Bay of Whales served as the base for several important Antarctic expeditions, including:

The configuration of the Bay of Whales is continuously changing. A survey by the Byrd expedition in 1934 determined that the feature lay at the junction of two separate ice systems, the movements of which are influenced by the presence of Roosevelt Island. Commander Glen Jacobsen, USN, who visited in the USS Atka in January 1955, found that calving of the ice shelf rendered the iceport temporarily unusable.

Bay of Whales.

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