Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nearly a full house...

Another plane arrived yesterday, this time at a far more sociable hour as our clocks have gone back to GMT-3 to synchronise with our sister station, Rothera, on the peninsular.

Halley International reopens Novelty penguin giftshop just out of shot.

The plane was another Basla. Like the Twin Otter, it's an old design based on the 1940-something DC3, but with modern engines and navigation aids. Like everything in Antarctica, there are no frills - just proven reliability.

The Basla

Once the engines were shut down eight BAS staff, the crew and two German scientist heading for the next stop at Neuamayer station jumped off. As the crew refueled, we started unloading straight away.

Off comes the cargo

While the newcomers headed for a meal, we started figuring out exactly how Sune's field equipment would fit! Sune has spent the winter taking us on field trips. Now he's familiar with the terrain he'll be spending three months in the field undertaking a massive geological survey
on the main continent. And down here there's no such thing as packing light!

In goes the skidoo

And the sledge

Sune ready to rock and roll!

Packing all the kit took a fair bit of pushing and swearing, but it all went in eventually and after lunch the plane headed on, hoping to get another two stops in that day,

Ready to go

It's good to see familiar faces from the Cambridge office, plus new staff who will be taking over for next year. Last night most were tired from the long flight, but hopefully tonight we'll crack open the wine and get to know people over Ant's usual Saturday night excellence. Although we're only at about 50% capacity, the place is feeling very full. Lucky then that Met shifts start early so there's no queue for the tea, and that my room-mate doesn't snore!


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