Refugio Aeronaval “Capitán Estivariz”  (WAP ARG-NEW)

The “Capitán Estivariz Aeronaval Refuge”,  is located on Watkins Island in the Mikkelsen islands group (see a note below)  within the Argentine Antarctic Sector.  In the 1955-1956 Antartic Campaign, an intense hydrographic activity on the South Shetland Islands was achieved. To support the scientific activities (mainly aerial photographic survey of the entire western coastal area of the Antarctic Peninsula above 65º South, was carried out).
A Shelter located at 66°23′ South, 67°13′ West was built on a small islet between the southwest coast of Watkins Island and Belding Island, and opened on February 29, 1956. The Icebreaker ARA General San Martín did participate in its construction during the 1955-1956 Antarctic campaign.

The Refuge Hut was named in honor of Captain (C) Eduardo Aníbal Estivariz, of the Argentine Navy, who did contribute to the success of the Argentine revolution of 1955 and who was killed in an aircraft accident. The Argentine Captain Estivariz Air-Naval Refuge in Antarctica, is managed by the Argentine Navy.  In the early 1960s the Shelter, consisted of a wooden building was occupied in the summers of 1955-1956 and 1956-1957, with provisions for three people for three months.

Watkins Island    is a low lying, ice-covered island 5 miles (8 km) long, lying 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Lovoisier Island, one of the Briscoe Islands. The island was first mapped by the French Antarctic Expedidition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1903–05 and 1908–10), but remained unnamed until resighted in 1934–1937 by the  Rymill, who gave the name Mikkelsen Island in honor  of the Danish Arctic explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen,. In applying the name, Rymill was unaware of the existence of Mikkelsen island, 75 miles (121 km) southwestward, named in 1908–1910 by Charcot. To avoid confusion of the two, the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee (UK-APC) recommended in 1952 that the Rymill naming be amended. The new name, Watkins Island, commemorates Gino Watkins, leader of the British AntarcticAir Route Expedition(1930–1931).

WAP is still in search of a picture of Refugio Aeronaval “Capitán Estivariz”  and will be grateful to anyone who can find one and send it for our archive. Thanks a lot in advance!