Sun Down, Pool Tournament and Sledge N71 Funeral

I’m sorry there has been no Photo Friday article last week — we’ve been busy with a number of other events that took place over the last few days or so and I really didn’t get to putting together a photography article.

I do have, however, a number of pictures attached to this post, so if you’re hungry for images, read after the break!

Sun Down

1 May 2014 brought with it the last Sunrise and the last Sunset before the 106 long days of darkness finally kick in. This pretty much marks the beginning of the deepest stage of our winter season. We still have a few hours of daylight (more like dusk light), but each day there is less and less light as it’s rapidly gives way to complete darkness.

For me this is a bit of novelty. I’ve experienced 24 hours of daylight before (once, several years ago, for about ten days, in Scandinavia and then again just after my arrival to Antarctica, for close to three months), but I’ve never seen a 24 hour darkness, and definitely not for 106 days. Each person experiences that period differently, so it’s hard to tell what will I think of it, although I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy it.

The day when we have the last sunset is called Sun Down and we’ve had a bit of a celebration here. The gist of it is that exactly at sunset, the oldest team member gives a speach and then lowers the flag on the mast, and I must say that Nick performed both beautifully. After the sunset (which happened exactly at 14:02 UTC) Octavian served some Romanian and Armenian meat off our station Barbecue — that was really funny, as your burgers would be scorched on one side and frozen on another (it was almost -30°C here on that day and literally no wind and no clouds, which doesn’t happen often). Even my wine froze in my glass!

Halley Doubles Pool Competition

Last weekend, on Saturday, we had an annual Halley Doubles Pool Competition. All teams were randomly put together and the teams were playing against each other championship style (winning teams from the first round of games played against each other, then the winning team from the second round played against each other and then the two winning teams played in the final game).

It was a good fun, even if my team got beaten in the first round. This allowed me to take some pictures instead, so it’s all good!

Sledge N71 “Myrtle” Funeral

Finally last Monday we had a very emotional Sledge Funeral. BAS use a number of Nansen Sledges for transporting stuff behind the Skidoos on winter trips, for SAR response, etc. They are a type of sledge that was originally designed by Fridtjof Nansen himself in 1880’s for his winter expeditions in Norway, and then perfected further for his adventures in Greenland and finally for his North Pole expeditions. This particular sledge (number 71, called “Myrtle”)  was build in 1986, however its design hasn’t really changed since the original Nansen’s sledge.

“Myrtle”, during her years of service to BAS, has covered 8947 km of distance and she was last used in 2012/2013 as the SAR sledge.

Due to the age and increased difficulty in maintenance, the sledge was retired and has now been broken up for spare parts.

The ceremony gave us all a chance to go to Al’s GA Workshop, take a good look at the Nansen Sledge, have a few beers, have a chat about all this stuff and say good bye to “Myrtle”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.