Sunday, January 06, 2008

A proper send off

Trying to say good-byes after being awake for almost a whole day didn't really work. On Saturday afternoon I was well pleased to get a lift down to Shackleton to see off Tamsin and Kirsty, and to say a better fairwell to the others.

Since I left, the Shackleton had snapped one of her mooring line and been blown out to sea where she rode out the storm. Now she was standing alongside using thrusters, the gangway couldn't be lowered so people were hoisted aboard using the Wor Geordie.

The last of Team Met join ship

As the crew secured the cranes we had some good banter and fantastic snowball fight - a classic case of height advantage vs supplies. Those on board soon found better entertainment from Dave the purser's complimentary champagne and retired safely out of range on the helideck to toast Halley and their voyage.

Tom, Tamsin, Alex, Kirsty and Chris say cheers

As glasses were raised, Captain Marshal appeared at the bridge-wing controls to edge his ship sideways away from the ice and turn her bow to the north. With a puff of smoke from the funnel, the main propeller started churning the water and the Shackleton slipped quietly away.

Heading for CapeTown

Joined by three emperors, we waved till the ship became a speck on the horizon. It was great to give the first winter departures a proper send off.

Next stop, Cape Town

Heading back to base, the chef's had been busy laying on a bbq and bar. There was definite relief the all cargo had landed safely and on Monday, the building work can launch ahead at full speed.

BBQ, with all the cargo in the background


Blogger Carolien said...

Thanks for sharing your stories about Antarctica...I love reading them.
All the best for 2008!
(A Dutch teacher living in Norway with "a feeling for snow":-)

7:35 pm GMT  

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