OAEs and FIDs - Pictures Database Request

OAE (American) - Old Antarctic Explorer - Someone who has been around in Antarctica for a while.
FID (British) - Falklands Islands Dependent - Current or former member of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey which later became the British Antarctic Survey.
Wintering usually confers automatic OAE or FID status

25th April 2016

Dear OAE / FID,

For some time I have had a section on this site where people who have worked in Antarctica in the past can register their details to find old friends, the links to the sections are in the margin to the right.

There are a couple of recurring themes I see from people who post their details looking for old friends they went south with other than wanting to re-make contacts.

1 - The first is that many have lost pictures that they used to have or simply didn't have many in the first place and would like some for themselves or to show to friends and especially family who came along long after they left Antarctica.

Do you have pictures from your time in Antarctica that you would like to share that are maybe languishing in a drawer or cupboard somewhere? I am happy to assemble such pictures and publish them by location and date on CoolAntarctica.com (it will give me a reason to rearrange the ones I already have). If you can do this, then please send me scans that are large as possible (up to max 4000px in the largest dimension) as jpgs. I can clean them up to some degree (the cleaner they are to start with the better), adjust horizons and balance colour etc. before publication. The easiest way to send them is via DropBox, let me know when you are ready and I will create a folder and send you the link by email to upload your pictures, alternatively, they could be sent by email or dvd. Information with the pictures is also of great use, as much as possible. I can also scan a limited number of slides, though this will involve posting them here and back again.

2 - The second is the number of people who say their time in Antarctica was one of the best of their lives and they would love to return.

So how about a trip to Antarctica as a tourist with fellow OAEs / FIDs as a group on a tourist ship? This is a bit of a speculative idea at the moment. While anyone can join a cruise to Antarctica, I thought it might be good to try and arrange a group voyage with other people who did what you did all those years ago, to share stories and experiences with like mind people who are also re-living memories. Visits to old bases while they would be the highlight are not guaranteed due to ice and weather conditions. Such trips are usually either to Eastern Antarctica or the Antarctic Peninsula. Eastern Antarctica gives access to McMurdo, the Ross Sea and Ice Shelf and go via Australia or New Zealand, they are typically 25-30 days. Those to the Antarctic Peninsula leave via South America and are typically 8-13 days or 15-25 days if taking in South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

If you might be interested in such a group trip, please reply by with any thoughts you may have on the subject and I'll take it from there.

Kind regards

Paul Ward

webmaster - CoolAntarctica and ex-Signy FID, 85 & 86 winters.


1 - Pictures - Thank you for those who have already sent me their pictures, I am posting them via this page as and when I have them ready for publication (it is rather time consuming!).

 If you can help by submitting pictures of your own, please see here for details.

While there are plenty of great pictures of Antarctica online of wildlife and scenery, those of life on bases are less frequent and possibly of less interest to most people. However to those who were there and for whom it was often a significant part of their formative younger years such pictures are the most fascinating of all.

What I'm trying to do is to help make public many of those old pictures that people have hiding away half forgotten that maybe they don't think are particularly interesting whereas they may be of great value to those who didn't take many or any pictures of their own or who have lost them over the years.

Pictures from:
Anthony Lister, Ralph Lewis and Stephen Kapantis

Halley V from the air

USS Glacier AGB 4


Russian Vostock Station

Hero - Palmer based research vessel

At Vostok


Ships at McMurdo

  I'm sure I did this already... every now and then I send out emails, a proportion of these bounce back as "not found", often because it was a former work email or an ISP that no longer exists, as there is no longer any way to make contact I delete the record to keep things as current as I can..