Thursday, December 28, 2006
My first landfall took place at the Chilean naval base, Bernardo O'Higgins, named after that country's liberator. The Chileans warmly welcomed us as it seemed that they hadn't had any visitors for quite some time. We were given an extensive tour of the facility during which I was lucky enough to play interpreter. Our guides were more than a little chatty and and they insisted upon showing us everything and then asking us to sit down for coffee with them. Their hospitality was appreciated.
During our expedition, we ran across a number of Chilean and Argentine bases, most of which seemed uninhabited. I later learned that those two nations, plus the UK all have territorial claims on the Antarctic peninsula and maintain unoccupied facilities in order to give legitimacy to their claims in the event that the international treaty that governs Antarctica is ever not renewed.
Posted by R A Ford at 3:20 PM