We are apparently in the middle of nowhere as we sail from the Antarctic Peninsula, bubbling with giant icebergs and snowy peaks.
But as we turn the corner, a small wooden hut comes into view. We have reached the southernmost post office in the world.
Port Lockroy Post Station is located on Goudier Island, which is about the size of a football field. There is no running water as internet and food supplies need to be packed.
Port Lockroy Post Office is located on Goudier Island off the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the world's southernmost post office. The small island can be seen in the photo above with a mountain left behind
The place began as the first permanent British base in Antarctica during WWII, set up so that the UK could make a territorial claim.
Stamps are a legal form of currency, so the secret base was partly carried out as a post office to strengthen assurances of sovereignty across the continent, to underline how the British became a bona fide part of official territory on them.
Port Lockroy, as & # 39; Base A & # 39; as it was first announced, closed in 1962 when Britain established larger and more modern bases on the continent.
But after a conservation study in 1994, Port Lockroy was recognized for its historical importance and restored by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust to a working post office, gift shop and museum.
Port Lockroy began in WWII as the first permanent British base in Antarctica, allowing the United Kingdom a territorial claim
Following a conservation study in 1994, Port Lockroy was recognized for its historical importance and restored by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. More than 80,000 posts are sent out of the post office within four months, leaving it open
More than 3,000 historical artifacts, including unopened views of & # 39; luncheon meat & # 39; and mouse puree were recovered in the process.
Today, every summer season – which runs from November to March in Antarctica – a team of postal workers are deployed to work on the spot. Applications are currently open for this year.
So, what does it cost to land a job at this remote post office, where the temperature regularly drops far below zero and the neighbors encompass more than 2,000 pongy penguins?
Today's founding leader, Lucy Dorman, discovers during our stop that it is one with a & # 39; skilled and positive attitude & # 39; takes to get the job done.
The main post office visitors are cruise ship passengers, and more than 18,000 stop by every year to send email.
A location map that shows where the post office is located at a distance
The original radio room at Port Lockroy, which is open to visitors. The base dates from 1944
See a tin bath in the original bathroom used by Port Lockroy staff when it worked as a secret British base
Lucy – who does dog expeditions in Canada when she's not to the south – adds that because of this high footfall, a & # 39; people person & # 39; another plus is.
She tells me that the main tasks at Port Lockroy include talking to guests, scraping penguin dolls off & # 39; roads and franking the post by hand.
More than 80,000 letters and postcards will be mailed within four months of the post office, leaving it open.
The mail is taken by ship to the Falklands, where it is loaded onto a military aircraft and flown to the United Kingdom. Once in the landing, the mail re-enters the British postal system.
The current Port Lockroy team from left to right: Vicky Inglis, Lucy Dorman, Heidi Ahvenainen, Kit Adams and Lauren Elliott
The five employees share a bunk room (within the photographed curved structure), take it in turns to cook and the toilet consists of a bin with a lid on it
THE DISCOVERY OF ANTARCTICA
It was the Ancient Greeks who first saw the idea of a mysterious land in the deep south – Terra Australis Incognita (Unknown Southern Land) – but it was not until 1820 that Antarctica first saw it. In January of that year by Edward Bransfield and William Smith – who located the Antarctic Peninsula – and by Russian Thaddeus von Bellingshausen. And in November of that year by American sealer Nathaniel Palmer. According to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the first to land on the Antarctic continent is believed to have been the American sealer John Davis. He is thought to have arrived at Hughes Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula on February 7, 1821.
The five employees share a storage room, take it in turns for cooking and the toilet consists of a tray with a lid on it.
This is not an Internet, but it is a satellite phone that can sometimes be used to make calls at home.
The staff gets one day off every 14 days, but Lucy points out that there is & # 39; nowhere to go if you get some free time.
She adds: & # 39; One thing that staff look forward to is a weekly shower. The ships are our very grace and let us take turns to go on board to do laundry or wash.
& # 39; They also give us fresh fruits and vegetables from time to time, which is a big plus. & # 39;
Food supplies are shipped to Port Lockroy before staff arrive for the season, with several boxes of chocolates a price tag. Most goods become thin or dry.
To record her work on the island before jumping back on my inflatable zodiac, Lucy says: & # 39; Port Lockroy is a really significant place and I am very happy to share it with others. It is important to keep this part of British history alive. & # 39;
Sadie Whitelocks stopped at Port Lockroy when they boarded the Oceanius Expeditions ship & # 39; Hondius. The Antarctic journey – Discovery and learning starts from € 5,550 (£ 4,600), excluding flights.
To learn more about Port Lockroy and the current job opening, visit ukaht.org.
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