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.

Vicky Inglis: Looking back on Lockroy
19 June 2020

Port Lockroy is a rare place in Antarctica, a tiny island where the human story of the continent is writ large. Around us was the evidence from early whalers through to Operation Tabarin and the construction of Bransfield House Base A, and the stories continued with the people we met through the season.

Lauren Elliott: Looking back on Lockroy
13 June 2020

It’s been about two months since I returned from the most magical place in the world – and I returned with new skills, new knowledge and most importantly a new polar family. For those of us in the team who have travelled or lived away before, it is a shared feeling of sadness and excitement when you leave somewhere you have made your home to return to the realities of life and back to the people you love and have missed.

Heidi Ahvenainen: Looking back on Lockroy
9 June 2020

During my first year our biggest tasks included repainting parts of Bransfield House and fixing leaking holes on the walls. This year we got to tackle the boatshed that desperately needed a fresh coat of paint. The buildings need regular TLC to withstand the Antarctic winters and the feeling when you leave the island at the end of the season and see the buildings in better shape than they were on arrival fills you with pride. We left knowing we had done our bit in preserving the unique history of the island, and took away with us so many memories of our own.

Lucy Dorman: Looking back on Lockroy
1 June 2020

I saw Port Lockroy in a new light, there had been diverse landings, wonderful wildlife encounters and incredible ice forms and features all along the Antarctic Peninsula when working on the ships, but there are very few places where you get a glimpse of the human history and that, I now realise, is what makes Port Lockroy so special.

Kit Adams: Looking back on Lockroy
22 May 2020

It’s been over two months since we left our little island on the West of the Antarctic Peninsula and over seven weeks since the first time we, the Port Lockroy team, had been apart in over five months. Now that we have returned, it’s easier to look back and reflect on our time at Port Lockroy, while also filtering through the thousands of photos that we took.

Lockroy team 2019-20 signing off
23 March 2020

Bags were packed and notes left for next season’s team. We woke early on our last morning, we had kept our comms online until the last possible moment but now the antennae had to be taken down and stored, and external connections weatherproofed. 

I came, I saw, we painted!
02 March 2020

The trip south started in style on board the Lindblad-National Geographic Explorer. The ship’s crew and expedition team were incredibly helpful and generous. They even agreed to fly a flag which said ‘Hello’, as part of an art installation for the Antarctic In Sight programme.

Preparing Port Lockroy for Antarctic winter
24 February 2020

The end of season is fast approaching and even though our best efforts to block it from our minds the reality of it is starting to set in. When the limited time we have left in Antarctica was first mentioned in the beginning of February the denial was so strong that we gave the end of the season a codename, much like Operation Tabarin, so we could talk about it more light-heartedly. If anybody has heard us talking about Barbara Collins coming for a visit soon I can reveal that we are not expecting a visit from a lady dressed in leopard print, but the sad and unavoidable moment when we have to close the base and leave our fluffy little friends behind.

Burritos, BBQs and the Antarctic sunshine
17 February 2020

As we enter the last week of our time at Port Lockroy, it seems this has been the season for visitors coming to stay, and for familiar faces to drop by.  We started with Sophie and Lizzie, here to carry out an artefact survey in the museum, completed just before Christmas.

New Lease and Generation of Life at Port Lockroy
10 Febraury 2020

Austral autumn has arrived and with it comes a new lease and generation of life to Port Lockroy. Camouflaged Skua chicks darting between rocks on Bills Island, Sheathbill chicks emerging from beneath the buildings, Gull chicks beginning to flap their wings and the Penguin chicks sleeping everywhere. As well as avian fauna, we have also had increased mammalian wildlife with Weddell and Fur seal visits becoming more of a regular occurrence. This week we conducted our final penguin count of the season. We spent a morning walking around Goudier counting the number of chicks on the island, this involved four of us using clicking counters to count groups of crèching chicks. The total number of chicks this year is 539, which is a significant increase from last year.

200 Years of Antarctica: A team reflection
3 February 2020

This week was the anniversary of the 200th year of discovery of the great white continent that is Antarctica. We have had some time to reflect on the achievements, adventures and tales of human endurance over this bicentenary celebration...

Behind the Scenes by Lucy
27 January 2020

As you have read in earlier blogs, days here are often full with visits from cruise ships, private vessels, small yachts and extra this week, the Argentine Navy. But what happens behind the scenes, one of the most frequently asked questions is “where do you live?”.

Heidi Hi!
19 January 2020

Hi all, its Heidi here. I’m sitting on the back deck of the Nissen hut writing this blog. I have the towering Mt Luigi and the Seven Sisters in front of me, their peaks covered in snow that sometimes makes them look like part of the clouds. I have missed this view.

Heidi's Arrived!
10 January 2020

I'm writing this on 10th of January, just over a week into a brand new year, and exactly 20 days after the austral summer solstice.  The season is marching inevitably onwards.  Each evening is ending a little earlier than its predecessor, and it seems as though the summer is already starting to creep away.  This week's blog post marks another turning point; we're just beyond half way through our deployment.  Despite our several weeks of residency so far, there's still a strangeness I feel to being here in Port Lockroy.  As if, sometimes, the whole place, Antarctica that is, isn't quite real.  

Happy New Year
6 January 2020

Happy New Year and New Decade from all at Port Lockroy!

Following our kayaking festivities, we prepared to welcome the New Year and a New Decade with the arrival of 2020. Sparkling wine had been kindly gifted and was waiting ready, work and chores had been completed for the night, year and decade, all that was required was for the Port Lockroy staff to stay awake until the stroke of midnight. We managed to fight off fatigue long enough to make it to midnight ... UK time (9pm in Port Lockroy). By the time the New Year was arriving to our tiny island on the Antarctic Peninsula, everyone was fast asleep and tucked up in bed.

Christmas Wishes
30 December 2019

Once upon a time in a land far far away (64 degrees south to be precise)

a base leader had a dream that was here to stay.

She dreamt of adventure in wide-open seas,

of waves, of penguins and most of all to be free….

Fond Farewells and New Arrivals
23 December 2019

We began the week by saying our goodbyes to Sophie and Lizzie, our artefact conservators who joined us in Ushuaia. The day Sophie and Lizzie left we heard and then saw our first penguin chick of the season. A very special occasion, and somewhat fitting that we had some new arrivals on the island the same day others had left!

The Free Time Phenomenon
16 December 2019

Many visitors here to the Penguin Post Office ask us what we do in our free time (FREE TIME!?  I've heard about that phenomenon), how we manage without the features we're used to at home, such as fast internet, social media, Netflix subscriptions, and so on, and whether we ever get bored of it all.  I think they're keen to know if we're going a bit weird from the strangeness of the situation...

Ice Cream, a Sinking Boot and 50 billion Dollars
09 December 2019

Throughout a days work at Port Lockroy we are fortunate enough to meet a wide variety of people ranging and including spontaneous trips South, doctors considering career changes, those on a trip of a lifetime and everything in between...

Open for Business
2 December 2019

The most frequent questions of the week: What day is it? Is that really the time?! Lucy, can you reset the BGAN...

Third Time Lucky
25 November 2019

When we left you last we were safely onboard Hurtigruten’s MS Fram whose staff, crew and passengers greeted us warmly and were keen to hear about our journey and where exactly we were trying to get too. We got within sight of Goudier Island, the small rocky outcrop that would be our home for the Antarctic summer, however, there was still a significant band of ice separating the ship from the shore...

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Antarctic
15 November 2019

Our last dispatch saw us safely arrived in Ushuaia, waiting to board the Quark Expeditions ship Ocean Endeavour, which would (hopefully) take us to Port Lockroy.  All things going well, we aimed to arrive on base by the 10th of November...

 

Cambridge to Ushuaia
06 November 2019

Greetings from Ushuaia! This is our first blog post of the season from the new Port Lockroy Team – Lucy, Vicky, Lauren and Kit.

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Press Enquiries

We love to talk about 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, would like to arrange an interview, use our images or films, or want to discuss an opportunity to collaborate then get in touch.

For all press enquiries, please contact ukaht@89up.org or +44 (0) 203 411 28 89. For urgent press enquires out of office hours, please call +44 (0) 203 2 89 89 01.