Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Port Lockroy - a touch of Britain in Antarctica...........

January 26, 2013 - Port Lockroy, Antarctica - late afternoon
Good visibility - overcast
Wind: 1 var; Sea: calm; Temp. 4C (39F)

Under the dramatic mountains of Wiencke Island is nestled the British base station of Port Lockroy. Built in 1944, it operated first as a secret station to detect German naval forces during WW2. The Germans apparently never showed up in this cold and faraway place.............. 

.......but we did! It was a quick visit at the end of a busy day with whales, enjoying the small Gentoo penguin colony, and shopping. 
Yes believe it or not, SHOPPING in Antarctica! The old building named Bransfield House is used as a museum, gift shop and post office. 

Later, taken over by Scientific staff it continued to operate until 1962..........wonder how on earth they got that AGA cooker over the ice!

Interesting to see many of the original furnishings and 
supplies still there.

If you're a Brit reading this you'll recognize many of the food items - even a Christmas Pudding - doubt they'd be edible now though. Note the yellow hot water bottle - bet that was used often!

In 1996 the buildings were restored and are now manned (womanned?) during the Summer months by a staff of four British Antarctic Base employees - there was a delightful young man and three lovely young women during our visit........all anxious to assist with our purchases, mail postcards, and help with stamping our passports. 

Unusual to see nesting penguins this close to buildings and we were advised not to bother them as many were caring for very young chicks - extensive snowfall here earlier had obviously delayed the start of the breeding season.

Lovely quiet penguins, probably the least aggressive..... 
Mama Gentoo with her adorable twins...who already have 
gigantic feet for all that rock climbing ahead!

Loved this all too brief visit where there was much 
history as well as Nature........

.....Scottie, our historian, and one of our fabulous expedition team members, enjoyed shopping. I admit I wasn't far behind, grabbing a warm fleece top and a few trinkets to remind me of shopping at this awesome place at the bottom of the world!  

Remember - click on pics to enlarge and to read more details 
of Port Lockroy.


  1. How fun to go shopping in Antarctica, Mary. Beautiful photos again. I like the one of the dark building with the red door and all the penguins around it. The museum would be interesting but I sure wouldn't want to live there for any length of time. Pamela

  2. I don't know what to say. I am speechless! The museum, the baby penguins. What an amazing trip and your photos are exceptional.

  3. That is a very nice place. Though cold. But the trip is worth it. Worth the time and effort also to see those beautiful penguins. Such a rare experience.

  4. What an adventure. Thank you for all of the lovely pictures and description. I love to travel and often get my "fix" from other's travels.

  5. Not many people can say they've been shopping in Antarctica! I love the history behind this place.


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