Thursday, 15 December 2016

Move to Temporary Camp 6a

A lot has happened in the last few weeks and it has been really busy on the work front – hence the lack of a blog post!

The Temp Camp at 6 is fully up and running and soon to be fully inhabited. 

The entrance!

It's been a busy time! The kitchen stores in the modules needed emptying out and sharing between the stores in the two temporary camps and the other stores we have at the two stations now. Frozen food that was buried last year needed digging out and storing in the freezer in the temporary camp and site 6. This will happen at 6a in the next few days so I’ll try and get photos of that at this side. There was cargo to sort to go out to the Falklands at First Call, when the ship comes in, next week. And there was the small matter of cooking for 80 people in the mean time. Busy times. Thankfully the summer chefs are in to work with Victoria (outgoing wintering chef) and me, so that freed me up to do the admin bit. 

I have now relocated to the new temporary camp at site 6a. It has taken a couple of weeks to get it up and running. A small party of people were based here for that time to enable work day parties to come across and do what they needed to do to get the camp habitable – get it sealed up, plumbing in, electrics etc. I came over a few days ago and we had a few evenings here with just a handful of us, which felt so nice after the business of the past weeks. Nice view from the kitchen too!

We had a bit of weather, though, and with just 3 of us on base here at that time it meant a lot of digging! The snow really accumulates around the Weatherhaven mess tent. If not dealt with it would bury and be crushed and so it needs digging out. Directly by the tent this needs to be done by hand to avoid damaging it, but the diggers can lend a hand when possible. Unfortunately there were no diggers here at 6a, so this meant digging it out by hand several times in the day as the wind kept blowing. Al and Sam did most of it while I sorted some kitchen and stores bit, but I did a bit too! Demoralising when you keep shovelling and shovelling and when you turn around it’s all filled right back in again! The weather cleared up eventually and we had a lovely, quiet, sunny evening to enjoy.

It was really nice to look at the Tag Board here at 6a and see only 3 names. Our tags are metal as we are part of a wintering team, whereas the summer folk have plastic tags. Just nice to see that Al and I were the first of the wintering team to be based here at 6a. The blue tags are layered at the bottom as there are so many people at site 6 at the mo. It's been peaceful here at 6a...

The general set out of the camp is nearly the same as at 6. We have a few more bed room containers and a doctor’s surgery here, and no laundry, which is different from camp 6. We also have less bathroom facilities as the original plan was to move the Drewery building (the one I was living in at 6) earlier and to have it here to provide more bathroom and laundry facilities. But we do have a couple of loos and showers so it will be fine and we send our laundry back to site 6 to be done for us! Not such a hardship!
But as I said the lay out is the same really with a large Weatherhaven tent to use as our mess tent, which is quite a nice space really. The containers are all lined up with a covered corridor to connect everything.

 There were a couple of small spaces that needed sealing after the blow but nothing too serious.  

It’s quite warm really  - perfectly comfortable. The bed room containers actually have under-floor heating and can be too warm!
I’ll make sure to take more photos of all the container “rooms” at another time.

The garage is being moved here today and so more people have arrived and we’ll be up to around 20 by the end of the week.  I hope to get some photos of that when it arrived in a few hours time. The journey time between bases varies as to what vehicle you use – SnowCat, Piston Bully, John Deer – all painfully slow, with the Skidoos being a bit nippier. But when towing a big garage building the time slows considerably!

I managed to take a couple of photos whilst out helping with the melt tank at site 6 before I left. The melt tanks are filled from the top so the dozer makes a ramp up to it and pushes the snow up. All we have to do is then help some of it in and then clear the area where the lid goes so it can close properly.

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