Ice and Isolation

Two years on an Antarctic research station taught Alex Gaffikin about iso long before lockdown. 

When Alex Gaffikin was 22, she took a nine week voyage from South London, where she grew up, to the Halley Research Station on Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. She ‘wintered’ there for two years as a meteorologist.  

In this interview, she gives us an insight into daily life on the south pole, the pressures and joys of living alongside other winterers, and her dark night of the soul experience during which she experienced a crisis of faith. 

Still, there were other consolations: like visiting a colony of emperor penguins, and waking up in the middle of the night to see the southern lights and the Milky Way with no light pollution nearby to obscure her glimpse of the galaxy.  

Listen in to what Alex experienced on Antarctica, and gain insight into what she learnt about isolation, long before lockdown, and the concrete difference it made for her to live out her faith by loving her neighbour. 


A short article giving us a further glimpse into Alex’s daily life on Antarctica