It’s downhill from now

It’s now the second half of July and it’s really downhill from now. We’re just about three weeks from the first sunrise and just over a month past the Midwinter Day.


In the run up to Midwinter Day, most people spent increasingly more time locked away in workshops and other “private” areas, working on and finishing their midwinter gifts.

We’ve had some really nice auroras and beautiful, clear, starry nights too. I think I’ve taken the best Milky Way pictures ever that month.

I have also tried photographing star trails. It was cold and it was quite a lot of work. The first attempt was a very moderate success, but on the second try a few days later I managed a lot better.

It was mostly dark for majority of the day, with only a few very short hours during which we’ve seen some deep twilight. We have also been blessed with the weather so far, only a handful of windy days and even those were not particularly severe, with most other days quite clear.

During the Midwinter Week we’ve had a few attractions – from the traditional “pub” crawl (where people set up their pubs and we all visit all of them), to the Midwinter Dinner, to listening to the BBC Midwinter Broadcast, to opening presents and so on. We also had an opportunity to do a Skype conference with the 1966 Halley Wintering Team. It is crazy to think, as one of them pointed out, that it has been exactly 50 years between their winter and ours, and it has also been exactly 50 years since Shackleton and his crew came to this part of Antarctica, only a short distance from here, before these guys have wintered. So they wintered exactly at the half-way point between Shackleton’s arrival and us!

It’s downhill from now

After the Midwinter week was over, it was back to school again. I’ve got a big project I’m working on, so I was completely absorbed by it since.

Other than work, I have also made some bread again, this time based on sourdough. Even though it didn’t quite taste the same way I wanted to, it came out really nicely! I think I’m slowly getting the hang of bread making!

The Antarctica366 project has reached a half-way point too. I’m very pleased with how it’s shaping up so far, and in a way a little bit surprised I’ve gone so far with it. At the time of writing, it’s 205 down, 161 to go!

Early in July the team organised an Arts Workshop, which I think is going to be a regular weekly theme. That night, they were drawing still life.

Around mid-July we all realised it has slowly started becoming noticeably brighter at mid-day – the sun is very slowly making its way back up towards the Southern Hemisphere. In my opinion we’re entering the best time of the year at Halley, with beautiful colours, long periods of twilight and, soon enough, hopefully some spectacular sunrises!

I have also gone with Ross to visit the Magnetometer Shaft, but that’s something I’ll leave for another post!

That’s it for now – as always, please enjoy the images in the gallery below!

Image Gallery

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