Postcards from the World’s Most Remote Post Office
Original post: Another World Adventures
Could this be the ‘coolest’ job ever?
In October 2022 four women were selected to run the world’s coldest and remotest post office … in Antarctica.
The team were picked to from around 6,000 people who expressed an interest in the role which includes running the post office and counting the island’s penguins. The role was advertised by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) charity to take on the responsibility for managing historic site Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island, for five months.
Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett and Lucy Bruzzone will give up their home comforts to live and work in a remote part of Antarctica.
The team will travel 9,000 miles to reopen the bay for the first time since the pandemic, taking care of the charity’s flagship site – home also to the world’s most remote museum.
For more than a century Port Lockroy has been home to explorers, whalers, scientists, and sailors who have made vital contributions to Antarctic history. Britain’s first permanent Antarctic base, Port Lockroy is a sheltered harbour off the coast of Wiencke Island at the meeting point of three seaways, offering some of the most dramatic mountain and glacier scenery on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is fitting then that this site, of such endeavour, has become the most popular visitor destination in Antarctica today and is the cornerstone of efforts to conserve British Antarctic heritage.
They started the season in a fairly eventful way over the weekend after a deluge of 4m of snow completely buried the post office!!
Luckily the Royal Navy’s aptly-named HMS Protector helped free them from the building so they could crack on with running the remote UK science station and post office in time for the visitor season which began this month.
Teams from Another World Adventure’s operator Intrepid, and Hurtigruten also help! Team work makes the dream work!
Each woman has been hired to take a specific role at Port Lockroy, which sees around 18,000 guests each year. Corbett, who has a background in retail, will run the museum gift shop. Hilton, a conservation biologist, was chosen to monitor the colony of around 1,500 gentoo penguins that share the tiny, mostly snow-covered island with the base.
The work of handling the roughly 80,000 postcards and letters the island’s visitors send each year—postage is USD$1, no matter where it’s headed—will fall to Ballantyne, the postmaster. Bruzzone will run the base, coordinate with visiting ships, and manage the team.
A chance to visit Antarctica is a rare privilege and we are excited to work with a handful of extraordinary sailing and land-based partners who you can join for expeditions to the continent.
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