EP12 – Sarah Lurcock – Six months a year, every year: a story of living on South Georgia for love and preservation

Few faces in the sub-Antarctic world are as familiar as that of Sarah Lurcock, South Georgia Heritage Trust’s Director on South Georgia.

Tireless in her management of the annual team that heads to Gryviken to manage the museum, the post office, and various goings-on in this remote outpost, Sarah is one of the strongest ambassadors for an island that so many love so dearly.

View of Grytviken as you sail into the harbour

View of Grytviken as you sail into the harbourMany travellers recognize Sarah as the first local face they see upon arrival in South Georgia as she has spent years boarding expedition vessels and prepping visitors for their day visit to Grytviken.

However, Sarah and her annually-rotating team are also largely responsible for the fundraising initiatives – largely from tourism vessels – that have paved the way for some groundbreaking projects to be completed in South Georgia.

Photo of Sarah courtesy of Kerstin Langenberger

Spending six months a year on South Georgia for over two decades, Sarah has truly dedicated her life to a place that many people only visit once in a lifetime and many more only dream of.

Listen to today’s episode to hear Sarah’s story and learn more about the future of South Georgia, the “pearl of the Antarctic”.

South Georgia’s location — truly remote


2:45 – The story of what drew Sarah to South Georgia in the first place about two decades ago

4:00 – Not too long ago, women weren’t allowed on the island

5:20 – How Sarah ended up as the Director of the South Georgia Heritage Trust on the island

8:50 – Good news! South Georgia now has a full-time curator at the museum

9:30 – Ever wanted to work on a remote, wildlife-packed island? Sarah spills the beans on how other seasonal positions on South Georgia get filled

11:35 – What day-to-day life is like in Grytviken when they’re dealing with roughly 80 cruise ships per season (and growing)

15:40 – Is there anything that Sarah misses when she’s living off provisions during her 6 months on the island?

17:15 – What life was like on South Georgia in the pre-internet age

19:45 – How dependency on the internet is changing things, even in our most remote regions

21:00 – Sarah talks about the epic planning and execution involved in the Habitat Restoration Project which successfully eradicated rodents – invasive species – from the island

27:00 – All involved in the South Georgia Habitat Restoration project are now a resource for other similar, logistically challenging initiatives being attempted worldwide

29:00 – Sarah takes us through some of the different groundbreaking projects being undertaken on SG in order to preserve both her nature and her unique place in history

40:00 – The centenary of Shackleton’s death is coming up soon and there are plans for a commemoration…

43:00 – What Sarah and her on-island team do with their precious little time off in this wild wonderland


The South Georgia Heritage Trust

Friends of South Georgia

Government of South Georgia

South Georgia Heritage Trust Museum website



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