For 4 days I lived in the most remote camp site in the world!
Australian Antarctica Division had installed an “apple” in 1987 and this was our home for 4 days. The apple had suffered some minor corrosion damage from the sea elements and the door fell of in my hands when I first opened it but we weren’t going to make this a show stopper as we were excited to have the privilege of being here.
Laurens peninsula is at the northern end of Heard Island and the crew from Braveheart dropped Fred and I into Sydney Cove on the eastern side of the peninsula by zodiac. What an exhilarating ride to a camp site, the swell coupled with the wind made for an rollercoaster ride north from Atlas Bay.
For 3 days we trekked around the hills, the dunes, the moraine left by retreating glaciers and were amazed at the wildlife that we encountered. These birds and animals have never seen a human before and it was interesting to experience how various species accepted or feared our presence. The king penguins, skua and seal pups were trusting while the macaroni and rock hopper penguins had an inbuilt fear factor that prevented them from openly engaging with us.
These 4 days were an amazing experience and one that I have been very lucky to be involved with. Unfortunately my experience was blunted by the obvious impact that those of us living far away have on the island. On a short 100 metres of the foreshore I counted 20 plastic drink bottles, 2 cleaning product plastic bottles and 4 fishing net buoys.
True to form the Braveheart crew provided us a theme park ride home by zodiac. Exiting the small lagoon into the open waters of Sydney Cove provided us a ride unlikely to be repeated…