Blog 3 | Port Lockroy Visit
Arriving at Port Lockroy
We arrived by small boat and I am always very excited about coming back ‘home’. Base A is a small black iconic building with striking bright red windows. It is dwarfed by an amazing panorama of dramatic mountain scenery. A real screen saver shot and I have heard people say ‘it is so beautiful that I could cry’. I can understand this.
On arrival, I felt transported back to the mid 1900’s. Once inside the base which is a living museum, I was immersed in the culture and stories of those times. Although as I came back outside, I was brought back to reality by the noise of squabbling penguins!Images: A selection of images from the rooms inside Bransfield House.
As I will be the only UKAHT employee to visit our sites in Antarctica this year, the plan is to fully utilise every precious second. A great deal of planning has gone into this trip with the British Antarctic Survey supporting us by providing personnel. This includes an electrician as we’ve been anxious to charge the batteries for the new solar panels at Port Lockroy as they power the whole base and without these checked there could be issues for the next season. In the early days of course, they had coal for cooking and heating, and kerosene for the Tilley lamps!Image: Ensuring the window shutters remain securely closed to prevent weathering damage.
There is something about Port Lockroy that brings out the best in people. Everyone has helped with the tasks that we needed to achieve and I can report that we had a very successful day. Some critical repairs have been performed. The important condition survey of the base was completed. This included extensive photography which will be viewed by conservators to assess the weathering and degradation of the buildings and its artefacts, and to support future conservation planning.Image: Securing the building ahead of the Antarctic winter.
The batteries have been charged using the solar panels, items have been serviced, along with cargo and waste removed from the site. The Post Office has been opened (briefly) for the few items of post to leave the site this year - in a normal tourist season up to 70,000 postcards are sent from the base! Our last task was then to carefully secure the base for the harsh Antarctic winter ahead.Images: Staff accomodation with solar panels and Sally outside Port Lockroy with the Gentoo penguins.