Detaille Island (Antarctica)
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Arctic - Antarctica
18 °F / -7 °C
Detaille Island is a small isle located off the northern end of Arrowsmith Peninsula (Graham Land, Antarctica). During 1956-1959, it was home to the British Antarctic Survey's "Base W", closed after the end of IGY (International Geophysical Year). The island is often visited by Antarctic cruise vessels but is otherwise unoccupied.
Due to men’s hasty departure and necessity that they take little with them, "Base W" is eerily preserved time capsule of Antarctic life during the 1950s. The base had previously been intended to host dog-sledging parties which would cross sea ice to nearby Antarctic Peninsula, but the ice was badly unstable. When "Base W" was emptied, heavy sea ice prevented resupply vessel Biscoe from approaching closer than 50 km (31 miles), despite the assistance of a duo of United States icebreakers. The men were forced to close up Base W, load sledges with only the most valuable gear and use dog teams to reach Biscoe.