Time is an interesting phenomenon here on base. We work and live so intensely that time somehow seems irrelevant and hard to keep track of. Already we say things like “usually” and “we always do ….” but we’ve only been here a week! I guess the time-capsule of our museum enforces this feeling: we just continue the line of working and living on a remote island with a specific duty, far away from everything.
Now, having said this, our life is not all philosophical.
To give you an idea; we’ve started painting, we’ve baked bread, cleaned Bransfield House and the Nissen hut (thanks Henry the Hoover), given talks on ships, emptied loo buckets, done risk assessments, received visitors, had the asbestos briefing, got fire alarms installed, talked through our health & safety, restocked the museum gift-shop; and last but not least - extinguished some flames (no worries though!) in the kitchen…Flo’s first cooking duty. Nobody and nothing (dinner!) was affected!
The weather has been really worthy of Antarctica. At the beginning of the week we had howling winds that stressed out our wind-turbine and constant snowfall that sparked a frantic search for snow goggles. Yet as of yesterday we’ve had lovely blue skies and sunny weather. The snow on the island is melting rapidly so the penguins couldn’t be happier because they are waiting patiently for the first bits of rock to appear so they can start building their pebble nests and lay an egg. We started the penguin monitoring and are very excited as to when we will spot the first egg of the season.
Last night was once again stunning: an indescribably beautiful ice-covered bay and a red and orange sunset. I felt so proud of this place and thankful to be here. We sat outside on a rock, together, overlooking the bay, celebrating Anna’s last night and upcoming birthday.
The ships bring us back to a life with the reality of time keeping and dates, and that has two big advantages: we can share our enthusiasm and passion for Port Lockroy with the guests from the ships. And, secondly, more down to earth, we sometimes get offered a shower. Such a treat! Thanks Expedition and Ocean Nova, for the first one after more than a full week of hard work.
This evening the ship Fram will drop in to make another attempt to unload the remaining half of the cargo after bad weather forced us to stop mid way through last week. We will wave goodbye to Anna who we will be missed for her great company and incredible knowledge of Port Lockroy. Then, long hours ahead of us to stock all the 300 boxes before we go to bed.
But also: tonight might be a full moon, and who knows, another sunset from out of this world.
Life here means hard work, but our simple life at Port Lockroy is so very enjoyable !