Not only did we get to experience our own mini wildlife adventure series, we also learnt about the amazing work that has been carried out in Antarctica with British (mainly) scientific geophysical exploration having taken place from 1920’s onwards. Sat atop barren windswept bluffs, cut off from other islands and peninsulas small barrack buildings housed teams of meteorologists, geologists and other scientists, thirsty for knowledge.
We sold the renamed Faraday research station to the Ukraines in 1996 for a peppercorn pound sterling (yep, for real). Verdansky became the new Faraday, relocated to an adjacent island and very hospitable it was too! One of its current meteorologists, Sascha, kindly gave us a tour of the 11-12 manned station, equipped to the nines with labs, workshops, office and living space. With satellite email contact only available to the crew, the biggest adjustment was socially on their return to the motherland; on his fourth tour he had 31 sleeps to go before heading home.
Serge made us very welcome as we warmed ourselves in the research station bar, downing home-brew Vodka. Matured over four months it was smooth-as! A treat for sure. And one the chaps only experience once a week, when they donned their ‘Sunday best’ and sat down together for a meal and a few bevvies. Nice.
Buoyed by our vodka shots we popped on our skirts and paddled to our next stop, Wordie house – the precursor to Faraday and now an unmanned museum, it harked back to the adapted buildings of 1940’s; office, bunkhouse, kitchen, workshop and store had been carefully reconstructed, to depict how the 4-5 strong team lived.