Br.Ant.Territory : Commissioner Pays Official Visit to South Georgia
Submitted by (Juanita Brock) 11.02.2010 (Article Archived on 18.03.2010)
Commissioner Alan Huckle and his wife Helen visited South Georgia in January. Travelling with them was Jane Rumble, Head of the Polar Regions Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and GSGSSI Senior Executive Officer Martin Collins
Commissioner Pays Official Visit to South Georgia
© South Georgia Website
Commissioner Alan Huckle and his wife Helen visited South Georgia in January. Travelling with them was Jane Rumble, Head of the Polar Regions Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and GSGSSI Senior Executive Officer Martin Collins.
The party arrived on the tour ship “Le Diamant”, visiting several of the tourist visitor sites en route to be dropped off at King Edward Point (KEP).
They had six days at KEP to meet with the people working here and see what they do and to tour the various buildings including the research station, whaling station, museum, church and hydroelectric power station.
Day two of the visit was a busy one. The group were taken by boat to see the reindeer-damaged vegetation in the Sorling Valley area. A reindeer exclosure in the area surrounds some very different vegetation compared to the heavily grazed area outside. It clearly shows the plant life that re-establishes when it is not subject to grazing and trampling. After a little sightseeing down near the magnificent Nordenskjold Glacier front, the party then went to look at the remains of the two fishing vessels grounded at the entrance to Moraine Fjord. The wrecks still pose some pollution problems as they continue to break up. They were then dropped onto the beach at Maiviken where Terrestrial Biologist Jon Ashburner, assisted by others from the research station, was weighing the young fur seal pups. The party walked back over the pass to Grytviken. That evening the Commissioner hosted a dinner for all the residents at Carse House.
On the 14th, there were three ceremonial events. The Commissioner officially opened the new Theodore Andersson photography exhibition in the Museum. There was also a toast to Shackleton at the explorer’s graveside. And, on behalf of the South Georgia Association (SGA), the Commissioner officially handed over three benches to the South Georgia Museum. The benches were commissioned by the SGA to be designed and built by wooden boat builder Thies Matzen. They are made from wood salvaged from the whaling station. The benches will be sited in the area in front of the museum.
The following day the visitors were invited for a day out on the yacht “Golden Fleece”. The yacht was operating in the Cumberland Bay area whilst the South Georgia Survey personnel and artists continued their work (see below). That evening the visitors were entertained to dinner by the research base personnel.
On the 16th they embarked the Fishery Patrol Vessel “Pharos SG”, and despite poor weather managed to visit and inspect Husvik and the British Antarctic Survey base at Bird Island on their way back to Stanley, Falklands.