Vernadsky Station

Since our landing at Petermann Island was cancelled due to high winds, our ship's expedition leader contacted the folks at the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, and asked if we could stop there instead.  They agreed, and it was a wonderful treat.  It was also the southernmost point of our expedition, just 80 miles short of the Antarctic Circle.

Vernadsky, which used to be the British Faraday Station, has some measure of fame as being one of the two stations that was involved with the discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic.  It's also a "year-round" station, keeping 11 people at the station even through the harsh Antarctic winter, whereas many of the other Antarctic stations are only staffed for the summer.

Vernadsky prides itself on having the best bar in Antarctica! Our guide, Nikolo, told us that they've had 1200 visitors over the course of the last year.

Our friendly bartender served us wine and red caviar. It was delicious!

From the left: Dr. Louis Friedman, Adriana Ocampo, Slavik, myself, (seated) Larry Lanpher, Nikolo, and another member of our Planetary Society group.  Slavik and Nikolo are two of the Ukrainians stationed at Vernadsky.  Slavik, from Odessa, is a meteorologist, and Nikolo is one of the scientists that watches the ozone levels, when he's not acting as a tour guide!

   Yup, they're Ukrainian alright!

I got a kick out of the pictures on the wall in the station.  So what do 11 men isolated in a lonely base down at the edge of the world crave?  Well, women, yes, but look what gets top billing?  Fresh vegetables! <grin>

Page last updated: March 12, 1999

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