Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Port Lockroy 26/1/2012

We visited the the British base of Port Lockroy after supper. In January, this far south - at 64º49’S63º30’W - the sun never quite makes it below the horizon and so we made the most of the long evening, exploring the base and nearby gentoo colony until almost 11pm.

Port Lockroy - the original base of the British Antarctic Survey

Gentoos wave to the M/S Expedition at Port Lockroy

Designated a Historic Site in 1994, Port Lockroy - which sits on Goudier Island - was renovated by The British Antarctic Survey in 1996 and has since welcomed visitors. With the original base, living quarters and scientific equipment preserved, this site gives a fascinating glimpse into the early years of Antarctic research and survival. Despite the humble conditions and lack of hot water, the quaint kitchen and living quarters breathed an element of home and comfort into the icy Antarctic world, particularly when viewed through the panes of the kitchen window or modest bedroom, whose view of the resident glaciers and gentoo penguin colony was framed with gingham curtains.

The kitchen at Port Lockroy, Antarctica

An original bedroom - complete with gingham curtains
Today, Port Lockroy is home to a handful of volunteers and scientists, who maintain the gift-shop and museum, and carry out daily surveys of the gentoo penguins that occupy Goudier Island. With strict environmental controls still in place, despite occupying newer living quarters built alongside  the original, even today's BAS representatives survive here without hot water and make do by boiling up pans of ice. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

The original comms room at Port Lockroy, Antarctica

2012's accommodation has no hot water

This blog-post forms part of a series of adventures experienced on-board the M/S Expedition in January 2012, whilst on an Antarctic Cruise - The Spirit of Shackleton - courtesy of Gadventures

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