2022: Blog | Stealing time
As we head into our final few days on Goudier Island we start to begin the base closure procedures. Sometimes this is met with feelings of joy at the prospect of soon seeing loved ones but quite often is met with trepidation and an unwillingness to leave.
Previously, because of not wanting to admit our imminent departure, we were not allowed to mention the Base Closure but instead had to refer to the arrival of Barbara Collins. Unsurprisingly it did not delay the inevitable. As this time once again draws close, we scuttle around the island deep cleaning everything and recording inventories so the Operations Team in the UK can procure materials for next season. Despite this, you are sometimes able to steal a little time for yourself. You can catch yourself admiring the efforts that have been conducted throughout the season, filled with pride for the work that has been carried out by the team to ensure that the buildings are left in a better state than which we found them. Or gazing over the icebergs beached in the shallow waters, across pristine Antarctic peaks and glaciers to which we have become so familiar and accustomed.
Pictured: one of the team's penguin pals and fellow Goudier Island residents
Marr, the original Base Leader, wrote of his time at Port Lockroy “We were looking at what is beyond doubt some of the finest scenery in the world”. To be able to see such beautifully wonderful vistas and be placed so intimately within them, one can’t help but agree with Marr. We each feel very fortunate and privileged to be able to see it every day. Although, what makes me smile the most is the penguins themselves. Our little neighbours are anthropomorphised by all who step foot onto Goudier Island. Whether that be by naming specific penguins or chatting to them as you would an old friend. They are a fantastic leveller of all and very few escape their charm from hardened expedition leaders, naval Captains and, of course, the Lockroy Team. They listen to the next as intently they did the last.
I think that most Lockroyans, as they are leaving the shores of Goudier Island veiled behind sunglasses and buffs hiding a slight tear, ask themselves, “Will I ever walk through that iconic red Base A door again?”. Lockroy is a hard place to travel to owing to the weather conditions and ship schedules. There is never any guarantee of getting there! Meaning that each time you leave this little island it becomes increasingly likely it will be your last. So, for now and perhaps forever – goodbye.
Kit Adams, Port Lockroy General Assistant 2021 - 2022
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