Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Back Again!

I'm the good-looking one in the back of the boat
Hello Everyone! Just when you thought it was safe to go onto the internet, I pop up again. Sorry it has been so long. Times have been busy and with the Base now winding down at the start of winter I now have more time to update you on all my comings and goings over the past 3 months!

Oh ....and before I forget to say. Please remember that all the photos on the blog are 'clickable' - i.e. if you want to see the picture full size just double click on them and then click the 'back' button to get back to the blog. So....now we've got all the technical stuff out of the way.....

Ambulance for Lorna Lomax
 In December I had to be medically evacuated to the Falkland Islands. Did you hear that? MEDICALLY EVACUATED. It's got a lovely ring to it don't you think?! To be honest there really wasn't any emergency. I managed to crack a tooth and despite being bent into various positions under the base's X-Ray machine the Doctors here couldn't really do anything for me. Pictures of my tooth were beamed by satellite to dentists in Cambridge who recommended that I should be sent to the hospital on the Falkland Islands for treatment. Unfortunately the Dash plane was out of service so it meant a 6 day journey on the James Clark Ross and a delay on the Falklands until the plane could be repaired.

Leaving Rothera
I wasn't really looking forward to the trip. As you might remember it would mean crossing the infamous Drake's Passage.  Here's a bit of info for you.....The Drake Passage is the stretch of water between the most southerly tip of South America and the most northerly tip of the Antarctic peninsula. It is the place where not only are there high and strong winds that blow most of the time, but where the "Circumpolar Current" is squeezed through its narrowest gap. This is a Westerly flowing current that flows around Antarctica powered by Antarctic winds. It flows at the rate of around 140 million cubic metres (tonnes) of water per second, or the equivalent of 5000 Amazon rivers.

The Drakes passage has been described as the roughest stretch of water in the world. To reach the Falklands from the Antarctic peninsula it is necessary to traverse this stretch of water at right angles to the current flow. The result is often very lumpy seas, corkscrewing boats and a very sick Rothera chef!

Off to the Falklands
I was also concerned about leaving my chef team behind. The base was getting busier by the day and I was worried about the amount of work that would entail for Issy and Alan. But the Base Commander enlisted other people to do the prep and I was assured that everything would be OK.
The first part of the journey to The Falklands took us through the stunning Numayer and Lamaire Channels. These really were awesome beyond words so I'll just stick in some of my better photos instead!
Nicknamed "Kodak Gap" by some, you can see why it is one of the top tourist destinations in Antarctica and why it kept my mind of my toothache for a few hours!

1 comment:

  1. Good to have you back!
    Sorry to hear about your enforced trip to the Falkland`s!
    Great cap you are wearing on the Stella!