Friday, June 22, 2007

Merry Mid Winter!

Mid Winter week's nearly over, and it's been a good time. In keeping with Antarctic traditions, we've had sporting challenges, games, beautiful hand-made presents and delicious food. I'll talk you through the week.

The last ever Halley V science team

The Simpson office party started things off well, with pretty much everyone popping in for a time. Saturday morning was spent tidying up and packing presents before getting ready for the first sporting event of the week - the Halley Biathlon.

10 eager competitors lined up on skis or on foot outside the Laws. The course set by Richard started with a 1km circuit round the memorial (lit by a flashing bike light!). The skier then entered the 'shooting gallery' where they attempted to knock down cans with snowballs. Depending on their success, a number of smaller penalty laps were added before a final circuit of the memorial brought them to the finish line.

On skis, I romped away from the start and settled into a comfortable third. For about 200m, until my left ski fell off. Putting it back on, I saw the binding had failed, so it unclipped at least 10 times in the first lap, dropping me to the back of the field. At the cans, I threw the useless skis as well as my snowballs, knocking more cans and gaining a couple of places as I continued on foot. It was still a good laugh with Sune showing his Scandinavian roots with a convincing win on skis, and Ant first on foot.

Dean outlines "competition rules"

Sunday brought weather work and a table tennis tournament, this time won by Jules. Pool league games were going well too. Most people spent Monday and Tuesday either relaxing with films, or panicking over last minute present details. Encourage by Chris' good reports on the wind, I took the kite out after lunch and got a perfect hour's boarding under an inky red glow on the horizon. Cruising along under the stars in a windchill of -50C felt pretty special - I was determined to keep active throughout the winter, but getting out bang in the middle was much more than I expected!

The sporting theme continued on Wednesday, this time running a 3km 'marathon' around a section of the perimeter. Surprisingly, UK summer running shoes are more than good enough for Polar use. Although the going varied enormously with the snow density, the four of us crossed the line within the same minute.

Crazy Golf!

The final sporting event was the Halley Cup Crazy Golf open. Each competitor built a "hole", giving a varied and challenging course. We also built out own un-orthodox "clubs", ranging for engineer Andy's machined aluminum and mahogany putter, to my table-tennis bat taped to a cricket stump. The crude club worked well, winning me the event and a pack of ration biscuits as the coveted prize!

For more photos, click here.

Coming up next - Mid Winter's day and Rock Night....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there Port to go with that cheese board?

Happy mid winter, Martin

5:30 pm GMT  

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