History

The first Polish expedition to Bunger Oasis took place in 1958 with the objective of taking over the Oasis Station from the USSR. The expedition set sail from Gdynia on December 24, 1958 on the MS “Mikhail Kalinin” ship together with the participants of the 4th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. There were seven members of Polish expedition: Wojciech Krzemiński (leader, geophysicist), Czesław Centkiewicz (electrician, writer), Janusz Śledziński (surveyor), Zbigniew Ząbek (surveyor), Maciej Zalewski (geophysicist), Czesław Nowicki (journalist), Stefan Zbigniew Różycki (polar explorer and geologist), who, as a representative of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), participated in the transfer of the Oazis Station. In the expedition participated as well Alina Centkiewicz (writer, scholarship holder of the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art), who, however, did not reach A.B. Dobrowolski Station.

On January 23, 1959, a ceremony of transfer of the Oasis Station took place in the Bunger Hills. The station was named after Antoni Bolesław Dobrowolski, who was a geophysicist, meteorologist and one of the first two Poles, along with Henryk Arctowski, who spent the Antarctic winter during First Belgian Expedition on the “Belgica” vessel (1897-1899).

Another group of Polish researchers visited the Bunger Hills for a few days in January 1966. They were geophysicists Maciej Zalewski (leader of the expedition), Adam Kuchciński and Ryszard Czajkowski, who were conducting a research program established by the Polish Academy of Sciences and who were wintering at Molodyozhnaya Station as members of 11th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. Together with them came geophysicist Janusz Molski and Polish Press Agency Moscow correspondent Bronisław Majtczak, who were in Antarctica during the summer season.

In the end of 1978, a fourteen-person scientific expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences with Wojciech Krzemiński as an expedition leader sailed from Poland on the MS “Zawichost” vessel. The aim of the expedition was to resume research work at the A.B Dobrowolski Station. The scientific group of the expedition consisted of Zbigniew Battke (aerial photogrammetrist), Gabriel Wójcik (deputy manager, climatologist), Edward Wiśniewski (geomorphologist), geodesists: Andrzej Pachuta, Jan Cisak and Seweryn Mroczek, as well as Zbigniew Kowalewski (deputy manager for technical matters), Bronisław Świetlicki (doctor), Janusz Gumiński (radio operator), Czesław Opoka (pilot) and three flight engineers: Janusz Mazur, Zdzisław Stochniał and Maciej Tałałas. Among the achievements of the expedition pictures from the Polish helicopter Mi-2 were taken, which were used by Zbigniew Battke to prepare the maps of the vicinity of the Station, and the scientific studies in the field of geodesy, geophysics, geomorphology and climatology. The Poles spent about a month in the Bunger Oasis. It was the last Polish Scientific Expedition to the A.B. Dobrowolski Station so far.

In 1987 the Station was used by the Russians during the construction of the Oazis-2 Station, which was established in the Bunger Oasis about 200 meters west of A.B. Dobrowolski Station, and two years later two Polish biologists, Krzysztof Filcek and Krzysztof Zieliński from the Department of Antarctic Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, participants of the Russian expedition, worked there for 65 days. However, that expedition was already using the new Oazis-2 Station.

Since then, the A.B. Dobrowolski Station has been unused and visited only occasionally by international teams, including the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in 2010 and in 2013/2014, and by the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), whose expeditions operate at Bunger Oasis based on the Russian Oazis-2 Station.