With the team all back together again, the season began straight away as we welcomed the passengers of Ioffe for our first ship visit. Sarah, Jane, and Kristy didn’t even stop to put away their bags in the Nissen Hut, but hit the ground running in Bransfield House, opening the museum and shop for our Ioffe friends. We had a fantastic time showing them our new home, and then bidding them all a fond farewell, until next time.
We got to work shovelling snow off the buildings. Under expert instruction from Tudor, Sarah and Jane learned the fine art of flinging snow and created a spectacular staircase up from the Chains Landing, whilst Kristy tackled the back deck of the Nissen hut to get to the buried propane cylinders. The tired team was grateful to Tudor for taking cook duty that first day, and then the next day too, which turned into our very first Pizza Night. We were very happy to host Andrew and Ruth as our guests in the Nissen hut, and to finally meet cool-cool Skipper Dave and Bertie from Pelagic.
Our second ship visit as official residents of Goudier Island was Plancius, who treated us to a beautiful zodiac cruise among the icebergs and provided us with great company during a lovely meal on board. We sent out the first mailbags on Polar Pioneer, saw the first rushes of arriving penguins from AGB Films.
We have been fascinated to discover the wildlife of Port Lockroy: the expected animals, like the snowy sheathbills, an elephant seal, and several Weddell seals, including a mum and her pup, but also the unexpected ones, including the amazing burrowing penguin, a discovery made by our resident penguinologist Ruth, who couldn’t work out why she was finding streaks of guano buried several meters down in the snow drifts as she shovelled.
We have been especially impressed with our passengers from Ocean Nova and Polar Pioneer, whose ships bashed through the ice so that they could trek across to Goudier Island over the fast ice, instead of arriving as normal by zodiac. Intrepid visitors, you have made our first week very memorable!
Other highlights included Tudor installing the light in the loo, a tango lesson in the lounge of Bransfield House with “Tango Americano” playing on the old gramophone, and a dinner out on Pelagic, where cool-cool Dave cooked us up a lamb that had been curing in the frozen sea spray on the stern of Pelagic. It was a phenomenal dinner, washed down with our first Pisco sours on glacier ice. Thank you, Pelagic! You are welcome here in the Nissen hut any time.
We are so happy to be here, starting our season after months of anticipation. Our love to friends old and new, and we look forward to all those we have yet to meet in the next four months.
Helen, Sarah, Jane, and Kristy
18 Nov 2013