Quad adventure park

Summer has helicopters, winter has quad bikes.

Smile Keith - I am! he says. Crooked lake with apple behind

Smile Keith – I am! he says. Crooked lake with apple behind

A really fun way to get around the Vestfold hills. For this three day trip we based ourselves at Watts hut, each day exploring something different. It was primarily a recreational (or “jolly”) trip, although we did spend a surprising amount of time tidying up the hut, installing a new heater and an oven bench top, changing the gas, checking fuel and supplies.

Continue reading

Lied bluff and icebergs

Faithful readers may have noticed some of the later posts have been rather epic, so here is something a little shorter and photo based that only covers a couple of days rather than a month!

Mark on Lied bluff, ice plateau behind

Mark on Lied bluff, ice plateau behind

Mark had some jobs at a couple of the closer huts so why not turn it into an easy overnight trip. A little manipulation on my part led to the inclusion in the trip plan of an evening walk up Lied bluff. Our planned exit was a scenic route through iceberg alley.

Continue reading

Feeling the heat

It’s already a month exactly since my last post, and I am feeling the heat. I’ve long had a sense of urgency inherited from Dad. Something about pre-empting the wheelchair – to do everything you can, while you can. But even so, over the winter months it is easy to be lulled into thinking that you have lots of time. If winter is a time of hibernation then we are most decidedly well into spring.

Distant blowing snow forms a "hydraulic jump" - just light wind at Davis. 2:37pm 5/8

Distant blowing snow forms a “hydraulic jump” – just light wind at Davis. 2:37pm 5/8

Family and friends have commented that I must be looking forward to going back home. But in fact the main thing on my mind is that I need to take every opportunity I can to go out and explore.

Continue reading

Tricks of the trade

Quite a lot has happened since my last post over a month ago. The sun has returned, we’ve had our strongest blizzard yet, and we’ve broken temperature records. Work has been busy and there has been lots happening around station. Aside from working through ongoing winter projects I’ve given some thought to next year. With a lot on my mind the time has been flying by so I’ll use this post to gather my thoughts. I’ll also be giving some tips about life on station and Antarctica, hence the title, Tricks of the trade.

Lots happening, the time flies by. Lake Druzhby ice, 14 July

Lots happening, the time flies by. Lake Druzhby ice, 14 July

Continue reading

Dark winter

Finally, the much dreaded winter psychology post. Having slowly accumulated ideas on what to write about during the past three months, I’ve put it off long enough. Indeed I am running out of time, as the sun will be back in less than a week.

Aurora Australis before my 7am obs, 21 May

Aurora Australis before my 7am obs, 21 May

This is the first time I’ve wintered in Antarctica, but as I read over the¬†Polar Manual as prepared by the US Naval Medical school over fifty years ago, I see that many things haven’t changed, at least on a psychology level. Certainly we do have it a lot easier in many respects but the physical isolation is the same. Although it seems attitudes or at least political correctness¬†has changed! As such this grandfather of references is a little more humorous than the comparatively dull documents of today, and I shall use it to guide me through this post.

Continue reading