Latest Blogs from Port Lockroy

An important part of what we do is bringing to life the human stories of Antarctica. Every year our team, who are based in Port Lockroy, Antarctica during the Austral summer, write a weekly blog to tell the story of what it is like to live and work in this exciting place. Read the latest blog posts from the team here.

08 March 2017
Homebound and goodbyes

“Our eyes are gliding over the surrounding glaciers and mountains. Watching the penguins, listening to nature and wildlife sounds.  Capturing the final impressions and moments as we make our way down to the zodiac's which are waiting down at the chain's landing site. One zodiac is loaded with bags, backpacks and two peli cases, in addition a box marked 'rigger boots' and some waste. Although the sun is shining bright at Lockroy and the surroundings are stunning and beautiful as ever, there is a noticeable sadness in the air when we take place in the empty zodiac. We silently watch whilst we cruise around Goudier Island, seeing the Boatshed, the Nissen hut and Bransfield house...

27 February 2017
Coming to an end...

After 17 days on the island I get the privilege of writing what will probably be the penultimate blog post of the Port Lockroy season and what a 17 days it’s been.  I recently started as Operations Officer back at head office in Cambridge and, after a whole two days in the office, was on a plane heading south. Adele, Laura, Lucy and Hannelore had been here and settled into their work and routines for 3 months and then I arrived and set up camp on the sofa bed with a notepad in my pocket and lots to learn...

20 February 2017
In the Navy!

This week has been quite a mixed bag for us here at Port Lockroy. As readers will know we are nearing the end of our time on Goudier Island and as a result, are using every spare minute to fit in any outstanding jobs. We have had a couple of mornings free from ship visits which have allowed us to crack on with the bitumen painting of the historic buildings. Despite these odd ship-free occasions we have welcomed 8 ships, 10 yachts and 2 Navy vessels ashore this week!

13 February 2017
A soggy penguin count

Although another week has past and Port Lockroy life itself has become a routine for us by now, nature and wildlife are in a constant changing cycle. Last week we witnessed the first sparkling stars far above us, and the nights are now getting noticeably darker. A reminder that this season is coming fast to an end. Well aware of the precious time we have left on base, not only getting all the jobs done, but also inhaling the final special moments, like watching a fluffy chick snoozing on top of a rock with its legs stretched out, seeing an adult gentoo running with a chick or two after it begging for food, having a conversation with a curious chick during painting work or seeing it's head moving as it follows the broom scrubbing up and down during our daily morning rock guano cleaning workout. The weather has changed to a more wet one, with some more rainy days this week...

06 February 2017
Stars in their eyes

Blue icebergs glowed in the bay; with not a breath of wind, mirror seas reflected majestic mountains; the still waters only rippled by the occasional proposing penguin: this was the scene last night as we soaked in Port Lockroy at its best. We gazed at the sky and to our delight we saw a star! Our excitement on seeing the first star of the season was also tinged with sadness. Although a thrill to begin to see constellations appearing in the sky it is also a sign that the nights are getting darker with each passing day, as the earth tilts and spins and the sun dips further below the horizon...

30 January 2017
A Change in the Weather

It has been a wet and wild week here at Port Lockroy. Multiple days of rain have transformed our once picturesque snow covered island into a slippery, muddy outcrop of rock. The colder and windier weather has made landing operations challenging for many ships in the last few days but they have all made it, if a little late and looking rather damp. The passengers seem to have been especially grateful to have got ashore and have enjoyed time sheltering from the weather in the museum...

23 January 2017
Sunsets and Storms

We’re a little over nine weeks into our Port Lockroy experience and in some ways we have settled into the new routine for our daily lives, as Hannelore described last week. However, despite our growing familiarity with our new home, we are still struck by new experiences and changes as the season progresses...

16 January 2017
Port Lockroy life with a blend of golden moments

At this very moment as I'm writing the blog, the sun is shining at Port Lockroy, with a gentle northerly wind and a mild temperature of 6.5 degrees.

09 January 2017
Climbing the Rigging

Often when visitors come ashore they ask how many ships we see in one day, the answer is that on average we see two, but this week had our busiest day yet when welcomed a large motor yacht, two small sailing yachts, and two large passengers ships...

02 January 2017
New arrivals for the New Year

It has been a busy but rewarding festive season at Port Lockroy. There were a number of milestones just before Christmas with the first chicks hatching on December 21st as we celebrated the summer solstice and December 23rd saw us officially becoming an island as the fast ice connecting us to Wiencke Island in the back bay finally broke up. Over Christmas we had glorious weather and many visitors and vessels of varying ages and sizes. Families and student groups came with lots of interesting questions and it was one of the children who spotted the first penguin chicks.

We want to thank everyone for their kindness over Christmas, our friends and families who sent presents and good wishes and the ships...

19 December 2016
White Nights in Port Lockroy

This week has seen us hopefully wave goodbye to ice-based disruptions and welcome in the beginning of regular ship visits.

The ice paid us another disruptive visit on Monday. Our morning ship, Sea Adventurer, managed to push through the ice in the bay and we were able to welcome their passengers ashore. The ice had worsened by the afternoon however, and through valiant efforts from the Ortelius team we were able to hand over our mailbag for delivery...

12 December 2016
Ship Visits and 'Operation Gentoo’

On Monday we woke up to an unexpected morning visit from Ocean Nova. At 09.00 the zodiacs were heading for Port Lockroy, Base A. They were a lovely group, and one of the expedition staff, Nigel, had worked here in 1997. Lunchtime was spent restocking the shop, welcoming the passengers...

05 December 2016
Antarctic Sights and Sounds

Have we really been here for three weeks? The time seems to be flying by so fast! Every day is so full with jobs to be done and sights to be seen.

We enjoyed the first yacht visit of the season when SV Icebird sailed in to the bay. On board they had an international group of skiers and adventurers who have been exploring the peaks around the bay...

28 November 2016
Lots of Firsts

The week started with stormy weather and our first real experience of Antarctic winds and snow. The weather and shifting ice in the bay and Neumayer Channel continued to prevent ships from reaching us but a window in the weather on Tuesday allowed us to start painting Bransfield House. As the base is not manned during the winter all the maintenance must also happen in the summer season so we donned our overalls and rigger boots courtesy of Dickies and climbed onto the roof...

21 November 2016
Icy Arrivals

So, the Port Lockroy team 2016-17 have finally arrived and installed ourselves on base!

Leaving the UK on the 3rd Nov the team – Adele, Lucy, Hannelore and I – arrived in Ushuaia on the 4th. We had a few days to enjoy Ushuaia and get some final bits and pieces organised. We were able to buy any final supplies we thought we might need and we also picked up our BGAN satellite transceiver, essential for our communications from Port Lockroy.

We enjoyed a lovely steak dinner in Ushuaia one evening before splitting into two groups for our journey south. Hannelore and I waved off Lucy and Adele on the Ocean Endeavour and we had one more day in Ushuaia before we ourselves boarded our ship, the Akademik Ioffe. 

9 November 2016
Bon Voyage!

Final preparations, ‘MAGIC’ and farewells

On the first of November, I caught a plane to the UK, leaving behind a final busy week of interviews, preparations and packing. At the same time Laura was travelling by train from Inverness in Scotland, en route for meeting up in the evening at our accommodation in Cambridge.  The rest of the Port Lockroy team, Adele and Lucy, were due to arrive the day after.

1 March 2016
Goodbye Rachel!

The team of four became three on Monday as Rachel left the island and headed North to the Falkland Islands onboard National Geographic Explorer. After we said goodbye, we sat watching her ship sail away to eventually disappear from view. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon so we made the most of the good weather and finished off all of the painting work on Bransfield House and the Boatshed. As the conditions here can change so rapidly we have to take every opportunity of good weather to do the outside jobs.

Port Lockroy Blog Archive

Explore the stories from our teams in Antarctica from previous seasons.

PR Enquiries
Promoting our important heritage work

We are very keen to promote the heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story, using our images or films or want to discuss an interview or potential collaboration opportunity we would love to hear from you.  Please contact either Sarah or Lewis at Limewash to discuss your requirements sarah@limewashmedia.com or +44 (0)1223 813557.  

Subscribe to our newsletter

Submit

Press Enquiries

We are very keen to promote the important heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story about us, using our images or films or want to discuss an interview or potential collaboration opportunity we would love to hear from you.  Please contact either Sarah or Lewis at Limewash to discuss your requirements sarah@limewash.co.uk or +44 (0)1223 813 557.