Sunday, 22 May 2011

Field Trip Part 2 - Carvajal


Living/Accommodation Building
Built in 1961, Carvajal used to be a British base called Adelaide Island Station. It consists of five buildings - living/accomodation, genny shed, garage, trade workshops and an additional accomodation building. The reason that it came into existence is that the buildings were originally intended to be built at Rothera, thus establishing the base there, but for two seasons the ship couldn't get into the Rothera location due to bad weather, so the base was built at what is now known as Carvajal.

Spot the Pilot
The British occupied and operated the base until 1977 when the aircraft skiway deteriorated. Rothera had opened in 1975 and operations were gradually moved over. The base was transferred to Chile on the 14th Aug 1984 and renamed Teniente Luis Carvajal Villaroel Antarctic Base (Teniente Carvajal). Chile has allegedly used the station as a summer only facility since this time. In the last few years the skiway has deteriorated further, leading to the death of a Chilean air mechanic, when he fell down a crevasse. Since then the Chilean Air Force have ceased operations at Carvajal. The Chilean Navy continues to visit the base during the summer. Their visit should be to ensure the Base is in good isn't. It is a complete mess and was I was taken aback at the amount of rubbish and machinery, including a crashed twin-otter plane, that has just been left here to rot. I suspect the annual visits by the Navy are more to keep a claim on the territory than anything else.

The Welcoming Committee

The base is overrun now with fur and elephant seals who we had to contend with to get to the Base. They are fond of biting anything they can get their teeth into and we had to approach the base with sticks, banging them against the rocks so to create the clanging sound that elephant seals hate. They are incredible beasts that despite their size move alarmingly quickly

It looks like the death of the Chilean air mechanic sparked a sudden and mass evacuation. The place is frozen in time with items abandoned in mid-use. Compared to the relative luxury of the facilities at Rothera the guys here must have really had a hard shift.
The Bar
Exercise Room

Games Room

Boot Room

The Chapel

Having left my mark on the whiteboard in the ex-boss's office and Mike having stamped my passport with the official Chilean seal it was time to head back to camp.

Marked for Posterity
This about as much climbing as I can manage with this lot on!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am a student of architecture at the technical university federico santa maria and I need information on the basis carvajal or images to make a new architectural project. if you have contacts there or pictures you would greatly appreciate it!
    Greetings! Felipe.