Port Lockroy is the first British station on the continent and shelters the “Penguin Post Office”, where you can post letters or postcards to yourself and others. The mail is taken from there to the Falkland Islands, then flown to London and posted around the world. It usually takes around two weeks, but six months isn’t unheard of. Either way, what a cool gift, once you get it!
Since the storm would reach us around noon, all excursions had to be completed before then. We all made it to the research station OK, but the last Zodiacs coming back had some rough seas. There was a very small margin of error there, and it was frightening to watch them struggle to get back through the quickly packing ice and high winds.
Guillaume, our Penguin-ologist, was due to get married at the post office that day, and they tried, but due to this storm rushing us, it was all cancelled. Better luck next time, Guillaume!
Can you imagine living here? The workers who do, spend the whole season here, until a ship with replacements comes to relieve them.
Our ship pulled out of there in white-out conditions with 35 knot winds. The plan was to head for shelter; since this storm was so large, we needed some sort of enclosure. Our target was Deception Island, which is a caldera, fundamentally, a hollowed-out volcano and perfect for hiding from a storm. We had 10-meter waves overnight. The ship was lifting us out of bed. I woke up more than once and had to brace myself against the wall, so I wouldn’t fall out. Wicked.
This post is part of a 10-post series of my adventures on the White Continent.
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