Monthly Archives: October 2015

First Impressions

A week ago we stepped of the plane in Rothera greeted by blue skies, no wind and wondering what all the fuss was about.  Today I am sat staring out at some good Scottish “dreich” weather – horizontal sleet after a few inches of fresh snow this morning.  In the last seven days we have seen an amazing range of weather – skiing in t-shirts one day to driving skidoos in high altitude down suits the next but always with the constant of trying to wear as much sun cream as humanly possible.  The last week has been a rollercoaster of meeting people, learning new skills, remembering old skills, good weather, bad weather and a constant rotation of amazing meals.  The hardest things to get used to appear to be the smallest things, not locking doors, not using money and changing your footwear every time you go in or out of a building.

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First views of Antarctica out of the planes window. I am not a big fan of flying so its going to be an interesting few months as taking off and landing on ice runways seems even more crazy to me.

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I could tell it was a good day to fly in by the fact that even the staff who had been down many times before were out of their seats to stare out the windows

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Looking out the front. One of the many jobs with BAS is to fly as a co-pilot so I’ll hopefully get a couple more like this. (for the photography geeks this is an HDR shot which I had to shoot about 2 stops lighter than normal as it was so bright outside)

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Just a couple of bags for 11 people

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Rothera base. The left of the image is South and the right is North.

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The tough life of a field assistant. Heading back to base as the sun sets after an evenings skiing as part of our staff training

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Bradley loading his skidoo for our camping trip. The building behind is “fuchs house” where all the field kit and recreation kit is stored.

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Blair trying to fit some snacks into a busy day. You can just make out a Nansen sled behind him loaded up with fuel, food and kit for our training expedition

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Not that different from Scotland. The weather changes pretty fast and having been driving in blue skies we were suddenly in a huge spindrift cloud. The black dot is the skidoo I meant to be following (only 30m away).

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Camping Antarctic style. Sun setting over Al, Blair and Mat’s tent with the skidoos parked either side

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Chucky showing Brad and I how everything works inside the pyramid tent. Travelling by skidoo means that you are pretty comfortable once the camp is up.

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Wheres Wally? looking back at camp (left of the black buttress in the middle of the photo)

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Dressed for success. L-R Bradley, Al, Mat and Chucky trying to stay warm as we were dealing with poor visibility and a broken down skidoo

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Mountaineering training and familiarisation on Reptile ridge. Chucky and Blair heading off on easy ground on the ridge behind base. The mountain is Mt Barre.

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