Winter holiday

April 5th, 2006

Well, the Shackleton finally left on Monday morning following a weekend of poor weather that made it difficult to load all our waste into her hold. We all stood on the wharf at 6:30am and waved off our friends and colleagues who are heading back to the Falklands and points north.
We let off some out-of-date distress flares in the half-light, making a memorable scene!
Then we all went back to base for a cup of tea, breakfast and contemplation of being alone in the wilderness.

Saying goodbye on the wharf

Flares at dawn

Then the Germans arrived. This was a brief visit from a small helicopter that operates off the research vessel Polarstern – they came to collect some blood samples and meteorological data that one of our aircraft had retrieved from Neumayer base a few weeks ago. They also went away with four packets of yeast, as they’d run out!

After the helicopter disappeared, we all set-to cleaning the base, which we’ve just finished two days later. Several of us (including me) have also moved rooms in order to be on the nicer side of Admirals House (the side with a view!)

Soup and I have now packed up all our field kit (and there’s a lot of it) onto two Nansen sledges, and we’re heading off in the general direction of Carvajal tomorrow. Let’s off-road!

3 Responses to “Winter holiday”

  1. Paul Says:

    How many people are left on the base?

  2. Matthew Says:

    a weekend of poor weather that made it difficult to load all our waste into her hold.

    So what you’re telling us is that you were in the sh*t?

    Let’s off-road!

    Is it actually possible to on-road in the Antarctic?

  3. Michael P-J Says:

    Paul: there are 21 of us.

    Matthew: we have some roadways around the base for our wheeled vehicles – they’re just made of crushed rock and gravel.

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