Monday, December 03, 2007

Summer Starts Here

Last week was busy for the aircraft crew, with three planes on the deck within a few hours all needing fueling and unloading. The novelty of planes arriving has just about worn off now, but there was a good crowd at the airstrip to see off Sune, who left for a fantastic three months in the field.

Sune leaving on Bravo Lima

The weather's remained on our side, staying still and fine for long enough to get back to the Halley VI site and fix the weather logger. Carl (Project Manager) and Steve (Civil Engineer) came along for the ride to check out the site. Their complex plans amount to little more than a few flags in the snow at the moment, but soon masts, access shafts, fibre-optic lines and all the
essentials on which the site will run will be dug in.

Steve and Carl examine the Halley VI site

The Hard Ice Cafe Cocktail Bar opened for the last time on Saturday night, running down the surplus stocks of spirits and letting everyone unwind for one last time before beer rationing starts. Known as "Aussie Rules", the summer regime is "two cans, per man, per day.... Perhaps". There are two good reasons for this system: 1. Halley is now a building site with lots of heavy plant movement throughout the 12h shift. A clear head is essential for everyone's safety. 2. There's simply not enough storage space for unlimited beverages for 120 people! I'm quite happy with the situation as this is the season for kiting or skiing every evening, and my glass of red with Saturday's meal is unaffected.

Welcome cocktails in the bar

One thing that has changed for the worse are meals. Not in quality, as Ant and the two new chefs are rustling up fine dishes, but in ambiance. We no longer dine, but feed. In, get, find place, eat, leave table so next person can get a seat. it's the only way as there's twice as many people on station as the dining room can hold!

But every down has an up, and that is Gash Days are no more! For the first time, Halley has a team of domestic staff taking care of all things household. And they're excellent. I thought we'd kept standards high over the winter, but the place is now really gleaming.

Finally I bear the sad news that my Mullet has gone. In keeping with Lonely Planet's psycho-analysis of winterers, Dean and I let Kirsty and Jules loose with the clippers and briefly sported two of the worst hairstyles known to man: The Rat-Tail and the Raver-Undercut.

Wrong beyond words

After a few hours scaring the newcomers, the clippers came out again and I'm back where I started with a tidy #4. I needed it. It's getting warm outside.


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