Thursday, September 06, 2007

Out and About

...Continued from the last post:

Sunday got better still, as after 6 months going nowhere, Richard, Sune and I fired up the skidoos and headed for the emperor penguins at Windy Bay. It was a perfect day, dead still and clear. It felt so good to be riding a 'doo again and just traveling somewhere. Anywhere!

Sune and Richard hauling pulks

After about an hour's ride, we arrived at Windy bay, unpacked the sledges and man-hauled our ropes and sea-ice kit to the edge of the ramp. Scott considered man-hauling "the more noble" method of traveling on ice. I disagree! It's damn hard work, and we only went about a mile.

Richard unpacking the ropes at Windy Bay

Standing on the edge of the ice-shelf, the frozen Weddell sea stretched to the horizon with pressure ridges poking up between the older "fast-ice" and this season's "first year" cover. About a kilometre out, the penguin colony stretched out around the headland. Sadly this was as close as we were going that day, as a radio check with Halley revealed the temperature had plummeted 10 degrees to -40C, and we needed to return for the sake of the vehicles.

Starting skidoos warms the arms

Although we'd only left them for an hour, the 'doos had cooled completely. Amazingly, one started on the key and a second after a few minutes pulling over. The third took half an hour, including some encouragement from a Tilley lamp and much swearing! Once running, we stood around eating pre-cut chocolate and hot ribena, then returned home, happy despite not making the full journey.

Right now I'm GashPig again, doing some much needed laundry and trying to upload our band's latest recordings. Watch (or listen to?) this space...


Blogger Paul Capewell said...

Ah! Shame you didn't quite make it, but hopefully you'll get another chance. The webcam darts match sounds inspired!

And it is really interesting seeing you mention how nice natural daylight is. I can't imagine going so long without it, so these subtle psychological differences make really interesting reading.

12:03 pm GMT  

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