Hope Bay

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Map of Trinity Peninsula and associated islands, showing Hope Bay (A)

Hope Bay (Spanish: Bahía Esperanza) on Trinity Peninsula, is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide, indenting the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and opening on Antarctic Sound. It is the site of the Argentinian Antarctic settlement Esperanza Base, established in 1952.

Important Bird Area[edit]

The bay has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports one of the largest Adélie penguin colonies in Antarctica with around 125,000 pairs. Other birds nesting at the site include gentoo penguins, brown skuas, Antarctic terns, Wilson's storm-petrels, kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills.[1]


Swedish expedition stone hut at Hope Bay
Swedish Antarctic Expedition Hope Bay.jpg
Hope Bay-2016-Trinity Peninsula–Esperanza Station 04.jpg
1903 (left); 2016 (right)

The Bay was discovered on January 15, 1902 by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition under Otto Nordenskiöld, who named it in commemoration of the winter spent there by J. Gunnar Andersson, S.A. Duse, Toralf Grunden and José María Sobral of his expedition after his ship (the Antarctic) was crushed by the ice and lost. They were eventually rescued by Argentine corvette Uruguay.

Hope Bay/Esperanza was also the scene of the first ever shots fired in anger in Antarctica in 1952 when an Argentine shore party fired a machine gun over the heads of a British Antarctic Survey team unloading supplies from the John Biscoe. The Argentines later extended a diplomatic apology, saying that there had been a misunderstanding and that the Argentine military commander on the ground had exceeded his authority.

Historic site[edit]

The ruins of a stone hut built in January 1903 by members of the Swedish expedition can still be seen; it has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 39), following a proposal by Argentina and the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.[2]

Research Stations[edit]

Elichiribehety Station[edit]

Elichiribehety Station better known in English by its Spanish acronym ECARE is an Uruguay summer research station in Antarctica, established by the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute on December 22, 1997 on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Esperanza Base[edit]

Esperanza Base, Hope Bay, January, 2016

Esperanza Base is a permanent, all year-round Argentine research station which was established in 1952. It is operated by the Instituto Antartico Argentino and has an average of 55 inhabitants in winter. The base installations have displaced part of a penguin rookery.

Station D[edit]

The old British Station D was established here in 1945 which was occupied by thirteen persons in the austral winter. It partially burned on November 8, 1948, with the loss of two lives.[3]A new hut was built on February 4, 1952 in a new place and took the name of Trinity House, it was closed in 1964. On December 8, 1997 the British Antarctic Survey transferred the base to Uruguay, who renamed it Teniente Ruperto Elichiribehety Uruguayan Antarctic Scientific Station (ECARE).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Heywood Island". BirdLife data zone: Important Bird Areas. BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  2. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  3. ^ Deaths of FIDS and BAS Staff in Antarctica Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Station D British Antarctic Survey

Further reading[edit]

  • Antarctica. Sydney: Reader's Digest, 1985, p. 156-157.
  • Child, Jack. Antarctica and South American Geopolitics: Frozen Lebensraum. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1988, p. 73.
  • Lonely Planet, Antarctica: a Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit, Oakland, CA: Lonely Planet Publications, 1996, 302-304.
  • Stewart, Andrew, Antarctica: An Encyclopedia. London: McFarland and Co., 1990 (2 volumes), p. 469.
  • U.S. National Science Foundation, Geographic Names of the Antarctic, Fred G. Alberts, ed. Washington: NSF, 1980.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 63°23′S 56°59′W / 63.383°S 56.983°W / -63.383; -56.983