Hello Again Everyone!
It's happened! I have caught the Antarctica Bug and am smitten with the place....so much so that I have decide to come back again but this time on an 18 month contract which means I will be living and working here for two summers and one winter. I am working on a different base to last time. The Rothera Base is now my home. It is very different to Halley...more of that to follow.
I thought my adventure would start when I got here however the process of getting here has proved more of an adventure than I could have envisaged or desired!
After spending a relaxing summer on Paros I attended the two week induction process in Cambridge for winterers in the Antarctic. The first week consisted of the Girton Conference which is the Pre-deployment Training Course providing practical advice and information regarding the trip, and more general background on the British Antarctic Survey and its work. It was a good chance to meet with the other people I was going to spend a lot of time with over the next 18 months.
|It might not look high|
|But it was....really|
After the course I returned to Paros for a few weeks which gave me the time to get all the gear I needed ready. Whilst in the UK I had filled up my P-Box (each winterer can send a box of stuff via the survey ship James Clark Ross). I have decided to take up archery to fill the long winter months....will keep you updated with my progress (assuming there is some!)
The date for departure kept being moved back. The certification for the Dash planes which would transfer us from Chile to Rothera had been delayed and I formed personal relationships with the Olympic Air operators as I changed my ticket details to the UK for the 3rd, 4th, 5th time. Finally a date was set, all the tickets and hotel reservations had been made and I went out for a celebratory meal at my favourite resturant. When I came home my whole world turned upside down.
|Exhibit No 1|
|The Prime Suspect|
The following day I met up with the 5 other BAS folk with whom I would be travelling to Rothera. Because of the delays with the Dash aircraft we were to be the first group to land in Rothera this summer. The flight to Santiago via Madrid was long but passed smoothly and as we arrived very early in the morning we were able to spend the day sightseeing. Our taxi driver on the way to our hotel offered to take us on a detour to see the 'shuttle' that had successfully pulled up the Chilean miners. Unfortunately when we got there it had gone.....if it had been there in the first place!
I was very taken with Santiago. Very modern with impressive highrise architecture and MASSIVE. It is the 5th largest city in South America. And of course dwarfed by the Andes....quite beautiful.
|Me and the gang waiting for grub|
|Memorial to Magellan in Punta Arenas|
|One well rubbed foot!|
Tomorrow we set out on the 4 hour flight to Rothera. A sense of nervous excitment!