The winter is definitely over at Halley now. There’s more new people on station now than us – the 2014 Wintering Team, we’re working more days and longer hours, the base every now and then looks like a construction site and the sun is up over the horizon for 24 hours a day.
I’m aware that yet again I’ve let the blog slip a little and haven’t posted anything in a while, so in this article I will tell you what I have been up to recently.
More flights in and out
We had a few more flights in and out recently – the ALCI Baslers brought quite a bit more cargo (mainly spares for the station) and a few more people, then we had our own Twin Otters come in a few times again with people and a little bit of cargo and post, and finally the Polar 6 came in for a night or two.
One of those days was particularly intensive, with a very early morning start (0530). We had the two ALCI flights in and out, and the BAS Twin Otter was leaving that morning too. In the end we spent some six hours on the Skiway, in -10°C and 25 knot wind.
Building moves and perimeter tidy up
As summer came in, we started the preparation for the building moves. Each year, every building at Halley needs to be raised and moved to a new site, to avoid burying. This year we managed to move all buildings except for the main modules (which don’t typically need moving, just raising) already. All this, of course, means a lot of snow digging and shovelling!
We also used the opportunity of good weather and moved around a couple of hundred Avtur drums (each 205L in capacity), to free up some German Sledges for relief, as well as tidied up the empty drums and dug out and moved all sledges, again for snow management.
The last few weeks saw quite a progress on the Science restart. For those of you who don’t know, we had a major power down in the middle of winter, which resulted in most of the Science shutting down completely. It is only now that we’re in a position to start everything up and we’re making a good progress.
Ice Climbing Trip
Finally, it’s not all work, work, work. We managed to arrange an ice climbing trip to Creek 3 (thanks to our Guide, Al). We spent a brilliant day last Sunday climbing the icy cliffs and had a wander over the sea ice to see some 500 emperor penguins which most likely came in there from their main colony at Windy Bay.