Friday, 25 November 2016

Temporary Camp at Halley 6

As most of you know, the big (huge!) project this season is moving the camp from it ‘s current position, at Halley 6, to a new position about 23km away – Halley 6a. The main job on site so far has been getting the Temporary Camp up and running so that people can move out of the modules and work can then start on decommissioning them. The Temp Camp is built mostly out of containers joined together by a sealed corridor, which leads to a communal mess tent, or Weatherhaven tent, at the end. The containers have all been kitted out so they work as sleeping quarters, bathroom units, a boot room, a laundry, a melt tank, a freezer, a fridge, a dry stores, and of course a kitchen.

The above pic shows the Temp Camp infront of the Modules. To the right is the WASP (work shop) and then at the far right are the Tech team containers.

The Weatherhaven tent with the kitchen container to the right.

As usual there are also people still staying in the Drewery building (the summer accommodation unit), which is where I am for now. But this year there are also four cabooses outside housing more people. They each sleep four people. I’ll make sure to get some pics of the interiors of them and the temp camp at a later date, as it’s an interesting set-up.

The move to the Temp Camp could come early next week, at which point we’ll have to move out of the main kitchen to be working there. We are three chefs at the moment with a fourth joining us in a couple of week’s time. The idea is to set up another Temporary Camp at the 6a site and have the chefs split between them.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Cape Town to Halley

Lucky for us our plane from Cape Town stayed more or less on schedule and we found ourselves heading to the airport early on Thursday morning. You check in with ALCI (the company we fly into Antarctica with) as you would any other flight and go through normal airport security.

It’s a pretty “no-frills” affair, but comfortable. The flight to Novo (a Russian base) took about 5 hours during which we were offered refreshments and were able to use the loos – two port-a-loos strapped down at the back of the plane. When we neared our destination we were asked to put on our warm clothing and we were able to watch our landing on a TV screen at the front which beams through footage from a camera in the nose cone.

We hung around at Novo for a little while. There was cargo to sort and passenger lists to adapt. The initial plan was to fly us on to Halley in two groups in quick succession. But the crew from the next plane we would be using were called in to help with a medical evacuation else where in Antarctica. Luckily, they were still able to take one group through, and I was in that group. The next group are having to hang out at Novo for a little while until the middle of next week … hopefully!

And so it was on to the Basler plane. These planes fly through Halley from time to time and always look amazing, so it was great to get a chance to fly on one. We helped the crew load her up and we were on our way. A quick 4 hour journey over to Halley in amazing weather! A Piston Bully towing a sledge was our taxi ride from the ski-way up to base. We quickly unloaded our bags and grabbed some dinner, whilst saying hello to the wintering team we left months ago in March. This was followed by a quick briefing and then to bed. Easy as that!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Cape Town

A very quick post from Cape Town. A large group of us from BAS travelled down on Sunday/Monday and should all go well we will continue our journey to Halley tomorrow. But we had a day and a half to have a look around Cape Town with some fantastic weather. An open bus city tour was the order of the day.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Autumn Colours

I've been trying to make the most of my time before I head South in little under a week! It's hard to try and make sure you see people, whilst trying to sort all those little last bits and bobs out. But it's been lovely seeing family, some old friends, and soaking up all those lovely Autumn colours. I'll soon be surrounded with mostly all white, so I'm trying to absorb and remember all these wonderful greens, reds, oranges, yellows and browns while I still can.