Seabee Hook, Cape Hallett
A penguin recovery success story on this former polar base site
Information about Seabee Hook, Cape Hallett
Seabee Hook is a large, unusually flat spit of land made of volcanic ash and rock. It pushes out about half a mile from Cape Hallet, off the coast of Victoria Land.
Its unusual name is derived from the initials CB (pronounced “Seabee”) which stands for Construction Battalion - referring to naval engineers who surveyed the site for a possible base in the 1950s. It’s called a Hook because it’s shape is very much like that of a billhook.
It has been used now and again since the first survey as a base for exploration or scientific discovery, but this caused the resident Adelie penguin colony to suffer.
In what has become an Antarctic “good news” story, since the base was dismantled and the Hook turned into a protected area, the Adelies are bouncing back, and scientists regularly monitor them to try and ensure the recovery continues.
Because of the fragility of the colony, there are strict rules in place to make sure no contaminants are brought onto the Hook by visitors, so be prepared to have your boots carefully cleaned before coming ashore here!
As well as the Adelies, watch out for south polar skua nests - another species that takes advantage of this curiously-shaped spit.
Interesting facts about Seabee Hook, Cape Hallett
The site is bordered by Antarctic Specially Protected Area No 106.