Home South pole ice 31-year-old bride leaves her husband at home to work in the world’s most remote post office in Antarctica

31-year-old bride leaves her husband at home to work in the world’s most remote post office in Antarctica

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When Natalie Corbett was planning her wedding, little did she know she would be spending her “honeymoon” over 8,700 miles from her new hubby in one of the most remote locations on earth.

The 31-year-old, from Hampshire, only married her beloved, George, in June this year.

But now she’ll trade a white wedding for the white snow sheets of Antarctica as she takes flight to run the world’s most remote gift shop.

She is part of an all-female team of five ready to take over running Port Lockroy – based on the tiny 1.7-acre Goudier Island near the South Pole.

Despite its remoteness, lack of running water and lack of flush toilets, the base is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Antarctica cruise passengers.

It welcomes around 15,000 visitors each year – many of whom come to visit the area’s gentoo penguin colony.

And its post office, which prides itself on being the southernmost post office in the world, handles an impressive 80,000 polar postcards each year.

Newlywed Natalie, who spent several years working in retail, will leave behind her husband – who she says is ‘very supportive’ of the move – to take over running the gift shop of the island for five months.

But the businesswoman, who beat a record 6,000 applications for the job, revealed she didn’t really expect to get the job.

She told The Daily Telegraph: ‘My husband was very supportive when I told him I was applying. But, like me, he thought you could apply but you wouldn’t get the job. I think he’s freaking out a bit now.

Natalie Corbett, 31, from Hampshire, only married her beloved, George, in June this year. But now she’ll trade a white wedding for the white snow sheets of Antarctica as she jets off to run the world’s most remote gift shop

Newlywed Natalie, who spent several years working in retail, will leave behind her husband to take over running the island's gift shop for five months

Newlywed Natalie, who spent several years working in retail, will leave behind her husband to take over running the island’s gift shop for five months

She is part of an all-female team of five set to take over running Port Lockroy (pictured) - based on the tiny 1.7-acre Goudier Island near the South Pole

She is part of an all-female team of five set to take over running Port Lockroy (pictured) – based on the tiny 1.7-acre Goudier Island near the South Pole

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust advertises annually for Postmasters who work at the site seasonally. Pictured: A map showing where the post office is

The former British Antarctic research base now home to the world’s southernmost post office: What is Port Lockroy?

Located on 1.7-acre Goudier Island, Port Lockroy is an Antarctic base run by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT).

The bay, from which the base takes its name, is named after French politician Edouard Lockroy, who helped secure funds for the French expedition that originally discovered it.

The island was used for whaling in the early 20th century, before becoming a British research center during World War II.

It was abandoned in the 1960s, but was renovated in 1996 to become a conservation site, with its own post office and museum.

Despite its remote location, the island welcomes around 15,000 visitors each year, many of whom come to visit the area’s gentoo penguin colony.

The base post office, which prides itself on being the southernmost post office in the world, processes an impressive 80,000 polar postcards each year.

She added: “Who wouldn’t want to spend five months working on an island full of penguins in one of the most remote places on earth?”

“I’m treating this like my solo honeymoon.”

Ms Corbett will be joined by Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton and Lucy Bruzzone on the five-month trip. Port Lockroy veteran Vicky Inglis will also be traveling with them to help them settle in.

Along with the lack of running water and flushing toilets, women will face sub-zero temperatures and nearly constant daylight.

But they will share the island with a colony of gentoo penguins, which Ms. Hilton will be responsible for monitoring.

“It will be my first time in Antarctica and I am very excited to set my eyes on the white continent. I don’t know what to expect when we get there – how cold will it be, will we have to fight our way through the snow to the post office? Ms Hilton, from Scotland, said.

“I’m a conservation biologist, so personally I look forward to seeing penguins and other wildlife like seabirds and whales.”

The four women were among 6,000 people who expressed an interest in the roles, which were announced by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) charity.

They will be based on the island for five months, spend Christmas together and take care of the association’s flagship site.

Training for the trip, which will see the team travel 9,000 miles to reopen the bay for the first time since the pandemic, includes learning first aid remotely and a lecture from a ‘penguinologist’.

Newly appointed post recruit Ms Ballantyne, who has just completed a Masters in Earth Science at Oxford University, will hand-process around 80,000 cards which are sent from the site to more than 100 countries each year .

Mairi Hilton (pictured) will be the wildlife monitor at Port Lockroy

Clare Ballantyne (pictured) will be the Postmaster of Port Lockroy

Ms Corbett will be joined by Clare Ballantyne (pictured right), Mairi Hilton (pictured left) and Lucy Bruzzone on the five-month trip. Port Lockroy veteran Vicky Inglis will also be traveling with them to help them settle in

Lucy Bruzzone (pictured) will be the base manager at Port Lockroy

Port Lockroy veteran Vicky Inglis will be the General Assistant and Wildlife Watcher and help the group get settled

Lucy Bruzzone (pictured) will be the base manager for Port Lockroy. Port Lockroy veteran Vicky Inglis will be the General Assistant and Wildlife Watcher and help the group get settled

The women will share the island with a colony of gentoo penguins, which Ms Hilton will be responsible for monitoring

The women will share the island with a colony of gentoo penguins, which Ms Hilton will be responsible for monitoring

Located on 1.7 acre Goudier Island, Port Lockroy is an Antarctic base managed by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT)

Along with the lack of running water and flushing toilets, women will face sub-zero temperatures and nearly constant daylight.  Pictured: Inside Port Lockroy

Along with the lack of running water and flushing toilets, women will face sub-zero temperatures and nearly constant daylight. Pictured: Inside Port Lockroy

“I look forward to walking Goudier Island and enjoying the cacophony and pungent smell of penguins, the backdrop of glaciers and the Fief Mountains – and being able to call it home for the next few days. month,” the 23-year-old from Lincolnshire said.

Ms. Bruzzone will be the base manager, managing the team and coordinating all ship visits to the island.

The scientist, who has already spent three months in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard on an Arctic expedition, called the opportunity a “lifetime dream”.

The team will be joined by Ms Inglis, general assistant for the 2019/20 season, who will help them settle in for the first 10 weeks.

Ms Inglis, a 42-year-old from Aberdeenshire who started working for the UKAHT full-time in the summer, said: ‘Port Lockroy holds a very special place in my heart.

“Having spent five months there before the Covid-19 pandemic, I am delighted to travel with the new team to show them the magic of Antarctica.”

Gentoo Penguin: Crustacean-munching birds that can weigh up to 8.5kg and swim at speeds of up to 22mph

Gentoo penguins are a species of penguins easily identified by a wide white stripe extending like a cap over the top of their head.

First discovered by German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster in 1781, they live in the Antarctic region, including Goudier Island, as well as parts of southern South America, including the Falklands. .

They are the third largest species in the world – after emperor and king penguins – and adult adults can weigh up to 8.5 kg.

Gentoo penguins are a species of penguins easily identified by a wide white stripe extending like a cap over the top of their head.

Gentoo penguins are a species of penguins easily identified by a wide white stripe extending like a cap over the top of their head.

They are fast swimmers, with top speeds of up to 22mph, and mainly feast on crustaceans, shrimp and krill – but can also eat fish.

Generally, gentoo penguins are monogamous breeders, and scientists have even observed that penguins can punish infidelity by banishing unfaithful males from their colonies. Penguins also give each other stones, used to build their nests, as a sign of love.

Papuans are not currently considered endangered, with an estimated total breeding population of over 600,000 birds.

However, rapid declines in some key areas are thought to result in a moderate overall population decline for the species.