There was a knock at the door...

The original OP all purpose galley/library/rec room
The Old Palmer all-purpose main room--galley/dining, library, meeting, and recreation room.

An amazing true story, which I read in the original Palmer Station logbook in 1987...this really happened early in 1966.

Everyone on station was gathered in the main room (pictured above) to watch the movie.

There was a knock at the door.

The door was opened. There was a Chilean naval officer in full dress uniform. His ship had just anchored in the harbor and they were paying a social call.


I really didn't believe this story, and at the time I didn't think I'd be able to verify it. But after posting it on my website I heard from Jack Cummings in 2001. He was the Navy radio operator who wintered in 1965 and was still around in early 1966. The movie hadn't started yet, and he was in the head (at the southeast end of the station--a room shared with the generators, and the actual facility consisted of a seat over a cutoff 55-gallon drum)--the window had a view of the path to the station, and he saw the officer approaching.

I'm thinking the Chilean vessel must have been the Yelcho which showed up around New Year's Day...not the last call it would make at Palmer Station. The Coast Guard icebreaker Eastwind arrived at Palmer on 4 January, it would take the rest of the 1965 winterovers (presumably including Jack Cummings) home.

Jack shared the above photo (from his 1965 winter) with the Antarctic Photo Library. Visible in it are CSC Thomas Atkins, the cook, HMC Charles Axworthy, medical, and the back of the head of Ohio State glaciologist William Ahmsbrak.