Adventure has begun for BSAE officers

Published on 08.01.2012 - British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012

The BSAE military officers have arrived in the Great South

The BSAE military officers have arrived in the Great South

© Expedition website

All the 24 people of the BSAE expedition have arrived now in the Antarctic. Some have flown from Punta Arenas to Rothera on Adelaide Island. The remainder sailed on board of sloop Australis through the infamous Drake Passage.

On board of Australis, the Drake Passage was not so infamous after all. Nevertheless although trouble free, the crossing was not entirely confortable either. "... Perfect sea conditions here means a 3-4m significant wave height, says their blog. Making the boat roll enough to send kit and bodies flying. Try to imagine how a cat locked in a washing machine would feel and you’re probably somewhere close! Of course the cat probably wouldn’t have seen in the New Year with quite so many Pisco Sours but never mind…"

Although it's a bit difficult to know were the 24 people are and in what group they've travelled, some of them are now on the island Adelaide where one of the most famous BAS (British Antarctic Survey) reasearch station, Rothera, is located (BAS has eight research stations in the Antarctic -all in the northern part of the 6th Continent). And the ones who have sailed aboard Australis dropped anchor in Port Locroy.

Port Lockroy is a natural harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula of the British Antarctic Territory. Discovered in 1904, this small community was named after Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, who assisted Jean-Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government support for his French Antarctic Expedition. It was used for whaling between 1911 and 1931 and British military operations (Operation Tabarin) during World War II and then continued to operate as a British research station until 1962.

In 1996 Port Lockroy was renovated and is now a museum and post office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. It is designated as Historic Site no. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Antarctica. Proceeds from the small souvenir shop fund the upkeep of the site and other historic sites and monuments in Antarctica.

Australis should soon sail to Rothera station to join with the rest of the 24 BSAE people. But it seems that a barrier of firmly frozen pack is in between, stopping the yacht from getting to Adelaide Island.

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