A trip to the Penguin Post Office

And now for something completely different, a trip to the Post Office. Overnight we had arrived at Port Lockroy at Wiencke Island. This is an official English Post Office, affectionately known as the Penguin Post Office. It was originally established as a way to have an official British presence in the area, but now it is also a popular tourist attraction, even though it is quite a trip to get here. Several ships a week visit now and thousands of items, mainly postcards, are posted annually. There is also a tourist shop and the proceeds are used for the maintenance of the historic huts and bases in Antarctica. Anyone disembarking has to do so in smaller boats as there is no quay to tie up on. The mail is processed and stamped by hand, then shipped to the Falklands via passing ships, then onwards to England where it is added to the standard mail system. And yes, I sent a couple of cards. There are a number of penguins all around the buildings, plus some whale bones from the early days.

Back on board for lunch and a few hour trip to the Melchior Islands. On the way we had a couple of short glimpses of some Humpback whales. When we arrived at the islands the winds had picked up and the seas were choppy, but we enjoyed a slightly splashy cruise around and some spectacular close up views of huge blue and turquoise icebergs.



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