Monthly Archives: November 2016

Fossil Bluff again….

I have spent most of November at Fossil Bluff originally going out for “a week or so” and eventually staying for eighteen days. I was last at Fossil Bluff in November last year so it was great to go back.  Life at Fossil bluff is extremely relaxed while also being tied to hourly Met observations that get passed back to Rothera for the forecasters and pilots to work out what is going on.  The first 24hrs this year was very social.  Myself and Tom had gone in to relieve Al and Saz on a plane with two pilots and two other Field assistants.  We ended up staying at the hut together for a night before the plane could fly on to Sky Blu.  This was perfect for Tom and I as it gave time for Al and Saz to give us a good handover.
931a0105 Tom, Julie, Steve, Saz and Al chilling on the Balcony when we first arrived.931a0116 A heated game of Uno on the first night.931a0127Tom heading up the ridge from the hut.  Tom was with me for the first week and as there were no planes we got out and about in the local travel area quite a bit.  Tom works as a Base General Assistant (probably one of the most applied for jobs with BAS) who run fossil bluff after its been opened up.  These guys get to spend about a third of their summer in the hut but I think this more than paid for by the work they do sorting all the rubbish and recycling on base!img_8672Tom and I’s Saturday night – Pizza and Whisky!  The hut has a couple of primus stoves as well as a “Reflex Stove” which means you can make some pretty amazing food.0029Sun setting over the hut.  931a0131As many will know I go thought phases of sleep walking quite a bit.  I found myself on the balcony at 4am one morning but it was worth it for this sunrise.931a0144931a0153Olly the new pilot coming in from the North End of the Runway.931a0173With a name like Fossil Bluff its no surprise that there is Fossils everywhere.  Last year there was too much snow around to find much but this year Tom and I found quite a few on a wonder to Bellamite Valley931a0182The hut from North with one of the weather stations out the front.931a0199Tom staring out across King George Sound.  The skiway is below this outcrop (the Sphinx) by about 1500 ft.931a0209 One of our many wanders in the hills behind the hut.931a0219-panoLooking out (North) from the highest peak in the area “Pearce Dome”931a0268After Tom left I was joined by another Base GA Joe who brought some colder weather with him.  Above – me very happy (and possibly slightly caffeinated) in my down bag watching a movie (probably Harry Potter!) img_4668Joe and I didnt have a huge amount to do so spent a lot of time messing around and doing some filming.  Above – Joe and I sat in the old Muskeg tractor in the Garage behind the hut.img_4672The old Muskeg – its truly amazing that they ever got anywhere in these.  Maybe in 60 years Piston Bullies will look as dated.931a0283Olly came to take me home.  Fossil Bluff to Rothera is definitely one of my favourite flights and this one was great as Olly coached me all the way into the final approach to Rothera.931a0315Just after Olly took back over – The Rothera runway straight ahead.

I have a fair bit of film and timelapse from Fossil Bluff which will no doubt appear at some point though for now I am packing for my field season.  Back to West Antarctica and Marie Byrd Land for some rock collecting – cant wait!

Posted in Antarctica, BAS, British Antarctic Survey, Climbing Antarctica, Field Assistant, Field Assistant Antarctica, Fossil Bluff, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Rothera, Rothera Research Station, Uncategorized

Big Changes

The last month has seen our numbers rise from twenty one to around seventy at Rothera.  The first aircraft were foreign planes heading to other Antarctic bases but these were soon followed by BAS’s “Dash 7” and “Twin Otters” loaded with staff for Rothera and Halley.  For the wintering team this means a lot of changes with base becoming a lot more vibrant with constantly coming planes and people as well as longer lunch queues.    I haven’t taken too many photos this month but have slowly got around to looking at some that had slipped through the net as well as processing a bit more of the timelapse I have shot over the winter.  Perhaps the random selection of photos for this month best reflects how work has felt over the last couple of weeks.  With it now not getting dark till 11pm it already seems like a long time since we had only a couple of hours of daylight.

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One that slipped through the net. The Milky Way over Ryder Bay and Mt Liotard. I think this was taken from a high bivy shortly after midwinter.

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The Dash 7 Landing at Rothera

img_8642After work beers on the veranda (yes that’s a T-shirt!) the week before the first plane arrived.

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The end result of a couple of hours work

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The digging continues – John making a start on the South door of the accommodation building.

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Another one that slipped through the net. Doc Tom about to do my midwinter dental checkup.

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Another big change! When your beard goes in your soup at morning smoko its time it went!

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Last days with the beard. Al took this of me on our winter trip – I was struggling to see my harness to tie my ropes on!

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Twin Otter facing North on the Apron. I have spent quite a bit of time recently on “fire cover” so lots of hanging around the hangar and apron.

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The start of Summer also means lots of training of new staff. Denzel – checking out an emergency shelter with the training tents in the background

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The new comms manager learning about emergency snow shelters (in this case a “snow-grave”)

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The arrival of the planes does mean some fresh fruit. My bag hanging of my peg in the bootroom. I think the Avocados have been the most popular.

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Busy times in the Hangar

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A very quiet Field Guide office with just Al on the computer. There will soon be thirteen Field guides based out of Rothera instead of just the four of us.

Also finally got around to putting some timelapse together.  A collection of stuff from around Adelaide Island post midwinter.  (Worth watching till the end for a laugh)

 

 

Posted in alastair rose, ali rose, alligator, Antarctica, Ardnamurchan, Ardnamurchan climbing, Ardverikie wall, Arisaig, Arisaig Sport Climbing, Back of Keppoch, BAS, Belnahua, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Bioluminescence, bothy, British Antarctic Survey, Buachille Etive Mor, Uncategorized