A trip to the bottom of the world is only a few weeks away for a Huddersfield woman.
Adele Jackson, a 42-year-old from Clayton West, is to spend five months on a tiny island in the Antarctic Peninsula with just three other people ... and thousands of penguins for company.
Adele and her colleagues will be tasked with sorting post at the UK’s most remote post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island.
Adele beat off competition from 2,400 applicants from more than 75 countries for the position with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT).
Now with the long journey south looming she has completed a week of training with her teammates – Laura Martin, Rachel Morris and Iain Pringle – in a bid to prepare for the icy experience.
The diverse programme included a session on the Antarctic Treaty, an introduction to wildlife monitoring and environmental data collection and role play to help the team deal with the variety of situations that could arise when dealing with visitors that will arrive at Port Lockroy throughout the season.
Adele said the training had been very thorough ahead of their November departure and she was feeling confident and excited to get going.
And she revealed the weather may not be as horrific as people might think.
“The area we’re in has got it’s own micro-climate,” she said. “It’s two or three degrees warmer than other places on the peninsula.
“It will be below zero celsius most of the time but I think it can get up to 10 degrees.
“So sometimes we will be working in T-shirts. Most of the time we’ll be covered up but it won’t be much colder than a bad winter here.”
The team will soon fly to Argentina and then travel by boat to their Antarctic home where they will stay until March.
Adele, who has visited previously as an expedition photographer, said she would make sure not to forget her camera but wasn’t worried about being bored.
The team of three women and one man are responsible for posting thousands of cards to 100 countries from 18,000 visitors on board expedition and cruise ships.
They must welcome visitors and give them an insight into life on a scientific base in Antarctica in the 1950s.
They are also responsible for the care and maintenance of the museum and buildings, as well as monitoring any impact on wildlife, through surveys of the resident gentoo penguin colony.
The arrival of around two cruise ships a day means there is never a dull moment and allows the team the chance to get invited on board, grab a shower and enjoy formal dining facilities.
The team will be posting blogs about their work via www.ukaht.org