This is more like it...
Two weeks in, time is flying. Things are pretty much as I expected – working flat out, 12 hour days to catch up with annual maintenance and to learn all we can off the out going staff, due to leave next month. My transferable skills and flexibility, crucial to the Antarctic (apparently), were tested the other morning by a leak of about 30 litres from our toilet. That dealt with, I attacked the workshop and prepared it for a Health and Safety inspection – I knew that time in the civil service would come in handy!
Just as things were getting a little familiar, it was time for field work. One experiment has a number of micro-barographs scattered away from the base to measure turbulence in the atmosphere. Every year these need rising to prevent burial, so armed with shovels and rope, Andy, Alex and I headed out on skidoos to find them. Leaving the perimeter, I opened up the ‘doo and grinned behind my goggles – this is what I saw in the brochure! Tracking confidently through broken snow, the ‘doo manualled large mounds smoothly and felt a lot like a downhill bike. After four months off the bike, it was good to be riding something again.
Arriving on the job, we dug down 2 metres and retrieved the electronics box before raising the mast to the snow surface and making it fast. After three hours toil we turned for home. Riding back into the low sun like Easy Rider on snow, I cursed the broken grip heaters as my fingers started to tingle. The kettle was calling.
(Photos to come)