— Katie Joy | 06 Jan 2019
We had a tent day yesterday sitting inside our tent waiting for the weather to improve. Everything looks a bit custard coloured in here after a while with the light coming through the orange canvas, so in the evening as the skies were clearing I walked around camp to see a stunning Sun halo made by the light reflecting through high altitude ice crystals with sun dogs glistening alongside.
We have been debating where the closest people are to us — Halley research station is about 687 km to the north, the South Pole research station is about 945 km to the south, and our ice drilling BAS colleagues are about 1060 km to the west. See photo of our little tent world in the middle of the ice, hopefully gives you a sense of the remoteness of our workplace.
By morning the snow has blown through and sunny skies and light winds arrived this morning. Pilot Vicky, by now an honorary team member, came in with the red Twin Otter around lunchtime with the final skidoo and sledge load, and some bonus tasty fresh food treats from the chefs for our lunch (thanks guys!). Thanks to everyone back at Halley for all the field support — from skiway loading and transport, to copilots and skidoo wranglers, to comms and weather — it is all much appreciated.
We managed to get out this afternoon to do some initial scouting around some of the ice fields close to us to see what the snow cover and ground is like on route. To get to new
areas we travel by linked travel — using a sledge and tow ropes linked up between the two skidoos. Tomorrow we will head out and do some searching further a field if the skies stay clear and see what the blue ice has to offer.
PS to the other team members (now including Tom) who are in Punta: Hope you are enjoying yourselves in the sunshine and are preparing for the cold!