Goudier Island in the center, with the hut (Port Lockroy) on it.
here's an expanded view of Goudier Island (both of these maps are courtesy
of the British Antarctic Survey).
Click here to see other maps
|Port Lockroy, a tiny well-kept post office perched on a bit of rock. The only place that *I* know of where you can buy stamps from the British Antarctic Territories! Goudier Island, by the way, is one of those "contested" pieces of land in Antarctica. It was originally discovered by a French explorer in 1904, then used by Norwegians for awhile, and then during World War II, the Argentinians came and planted a flag. So the British, claiming security concerns, mounted "Operation Tabarin," which went to Lockroy, removed the Argentine flag, and set up a British scientific station which operated until 1962. Things pretty much died down then for a couple decades, and then in 1995, the hut was designated as a Monument and Historic Site, and a conservation project restored the building to turn it into a kind of museum. There are two (British) men stationed there during the Antarctic summers now, acting as a sort of combination of museum curators, postmasters, and park rangers. And of course maintaining the British claim. ;) In Argentina though, when you look at a map of the country, it includes not only the mainland that the rest of the world thinks of as Argentina, but also the Falklands (Islas Malvinas), and a big pie slice of Antarctica, which, coincidentally, is claimed simultaneously by Britain and Chile. So far though, everyone seems to be getting along. :)|
A tidy little
kitchen for the two men stationed at Lockroy. I heard that they were
stationed there for 100 days at a time, and could have ships visiting on
as many as 90 of those days. They get requests from philatelists
(stamp collectors) all over the world, and the sale of stamps and first
day covers helps to cover the cost of the station. Quite a nice system,
I think! One problem with sending a postcard from here though, is
that it takes a *long* time to be delivered. For example, the postcards
that I sent would first have to wait for an appropriate (British) ship
to pass by Lockroy while on a Northward itinerary, which could take days
or even weeks, depending on the ice and the weather (sometimes the winds
might be too strong to attempt a landing). Then the postcards would
be taken up the long sea voyage across the Drake Passage to the Falkland
Islands, and from there to England, before finally being forwarded along
to my intended destination in the U.S., as much as four weeks or more after
the time they were sent. They'll be well-traveled postcards when
they arrive though, with some very unique stamps!
|This is sort of how I pictured Antarctica before visiting it... Penguins frolicking among the icebergs!|
A pair of blue-eyed shags on Jougla Point
A blue-eyed shag nest.
Technically we were supposed to stay at least 15 feet away from the penguins at all times, but if you sat down quietly, they'd usually come wandering over to check you out.
(In-joke #1 to my staff: Though actually, this little one may have just seen my cool "Team Simutronics" shirt, and came hopping over to ask me about his AGM application!)
#2: Here he is, future "Penguin GameMaster-in-Charge -- Southern Division"!