As has become tradition in the past few years, the new Port Lockroy team got together for a weekend of getting to know one another before the training. After a happy reunion in the motorway services outside Bristol, this year’s team—Helen, Sarah, Jane, and Kristy—piled into Helen’s camper van and headed to the Gower Coast in Wales for a few days of walking and talking over the upcoming season.
The Welsh weather cooperated admirably, giving us one glorious sunshine day in between two rather wetter ones—a chance to test ourselves as a team against the various elements. Making the most of gorgeous blue skies on Saturday, the team was up and out early for a long walk along the coastal path from Port Eynon to Rhossili, birthplace of Edgar Evans. After seven miles of stunning cliffs and crashing waves, we paid our respects at the memorial to Petty Officer Evans, the first man of Scott’s polar party to perish on the return journey, at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier.
Next day, the view from our chalet window was a grim sight of pelting rain, so we spent the morning translating phrases that will be useful in the shop and museum into six languages, and finalizing some other cultural activities that we plan to introduce to Port Lockroy.
Finally, we braved the wild weather and walked down to “our” beach at Caswell Bay, where enormous gusts prepared us for the katabatic winds of Antarctica and a subsequent hike up a ravine thick with mud substituted for the penguin guano of Goudier Island. After a well-earned pint and Sunday dinner at the pub in Bishopston, we were ready for the week of training.