Monday, January 15, 2007

Welcome to Halley

The first thing that struck me about Halley was the scale – the site is much bigger than I thought, at over 2km across, although this is totally dwarfed by the vast expanse of the ice shelf. The site comprises a number of buildings. Each with its own purpose: Laws, the main accommodation; Drewery, summer accommodation; Piggott, upper atmospheric science; and Simpson, the meteorological lab where I work. There are also small cabooses running other experiments, a garage and the Clear Air Science (CAS) lab, over a mile from the main site.


The Laws Building - main accommodation

Arriving at the laws, we were greeted by base commander, Pat. As the whole place looks like a moon base from a Roger Moore Bond film, I was a little disappointed when he didn’t spin round on his chair and say “Mr Evans, I’ve been expecting you…” However, I was delighted to find Laws has lived up to its reputation as 'a 1980's bachelor pad', complete with pool table, bar and dedicated music and film computer in the lounge. There's also a gym, library and dark-room.
I'd heard lots of bad things about the place, but given the depths of accommodation I've stooped to in the past, it's perfectly fine.


Skidoo riders with Simpson Platform in the background

We get about on Skidoos or by cross-country skis. Travel is severely restricted by snow, cloud and poor contrast. The concept of ‘Contrast’ was something I had confused with ‘visibility’ in the past, as I’ve always encountered one with the other when skiing in poor weather. Now I understand: Visibility is how far one can see, contrast is the level of detail. The difference was made perfectly clear the other day, when although the horizon was visible, I skied into an invisible snowdrift and fell over!

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The Main Strip


Anonymous Dean said...

Man how gay does Jim look in that picture...

Ohh, another busy day in the comms office btw.

8:57 pm GMT  
Anonymous Skinny D said...

Hi Dave, nice to see your new home. Are there any rules against building kickers then usung the skidoo to tow skiers/boarders at speed towards them? Just wondering like.

10:23 am GMT  
Blogger David Vaynor Evans said...

Skinny - there are rules. We abide by H&S regs and wear appropriate PPE at all times when getting sick air. Dude.

12:06 pm GMT  
Blogger Nick said...

LOL at the Bond line.

9:24 am GMT  
Anonymous Marv said...

Hi Dave,

Your diary makes fascinating reading, sounds like you're having a ball. Happy New Year. We had a bit of a windy day here in blighty on Thursday, the gable wall on my office building fell off and flattened a parked car. I hope you're coping with the extremes of weather better than we are. The Canoe Club Christmas dinner is coming up in a couple of weeks, so we'll be sure to raise a glass to you. Take it easy.

3:39 pm GMT  

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