Last weekend we had the final trip out to Windy Bay for the outgoing Wintering team. There’s only eight of us left here on station of the thirteen that wintered in 2014 – the others went home earlier in the Summer.
We took the John Deere with a Caboose and traveled down to the coast for the final night away from station, and used the other caboose that is permanently there, as each caboose sleeps four people.
We had a night of chatting, drinking beverages, eating John’s amazing steak sandwiches, playing “Richard’s ***” and just enjoyed ourselves, away from the station, the busy life, work, responsibilities. We have all pretty much handed over to our replacements and could finally take a little time to relax.
The next morning I went down from the caboose towards the edge of the Ice Shelf to sit down for a few minutes and take it all in once again. The sea ice is gone now and you can see bits of open water, although it seems to be building up again (more about that a bit later). There were quite a few fairly large ice bergs pretty close to the shore, as well as further out to the sea. The weather was beautiful, with sunshine, blue skies and not much wind, although with each day you can feel that the summer is coming to an end and the winter is creeping up.
I sat there for about half an hour, in complete silence, watching the ice bergs and the reality of it all started slowly sinking in – in a few days I’ll be going home. I have mixed feelings – on one hand I’m really happy to go for a new adventure and to meet up with someone special and yet at the same time I feel a little bit sad leaving it all behind. I know I will be coming back, but I’ve had the best time of my life here and I honestly and truly loved every second here.
I know I’ve very recently published a post discussing my travel plans, but Antarctica once again proved to be unpredictable and to require one to be flexible and to adapt to the ever changing reality, and some of those plans have changed for me.
It seems now myself and 15 others will be leaving Halley in about 36 hours from now, on a Kenn Borek’s Basler flying from Novo, via Halley to Rothera (which is where we’ll be getting off) and further North to Canada. We should have a day or two in Rothera, and then will set sail on the other BAS ship, the James Clark Ross (see JCR’s position on the image below, courtesy of www.sailwx.info):
I will miss the Falkland Islands this time, however I will visit Rothera which is something I really want to do. I will also sail on the JCR along the Antarctic Peninsula and into Punta Arenas, which is supposed to be a brilliant cruise! And to top it off, I will spend over two weeks in Chile. I might also visit Argentina (I think a trip out to Ushuaia sounds like a good idea), but I’ll blow up that bridge when I get to it, as they say. Then the flight to Spain and my week long holidays with the my special someone, followed by visiting home in Poland, followed by visiting the other home in Ireland, followed by Cambridge to start with BAS again in July.
Needless to say, all my stuff is now packed and ready for sending as cargo on the Ernest Shackleton whenever she makes it here and I’ve just finished packing my travel bag and my hand luggage. What a relief!
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my Wintering Team for our time together, it was a real privilege. Thank you!
Majki! Baw się dobrze i wracaj bezpiecznie!:)