Still waiting to leave the field

Katie Joy | 28 Jan 2019

We are waiting for a break in the weather for pilot Vicky to come from Halley research station to bring in a plane load of equipment to be depoted for next season, and then make another flight to pick us up and take us back to Halley to start our journey home. It has been cloudy and snowy the last couple of days – down to –18 ºC yesterday with 5 to 10 knot winds, we have had a couple of inches or snow that has drifted to be 6 inches or so in some places, and at night it has been below zero in the tent with our water bottles freezing up. The weather is forecast to continue to be cloudy and snowy with some occasional cloud breaks for the next couple of days, and we are not sure when the surface contrast will be good enough for the plane to get in. We are waiting for satellite pictures and are doing local weather observations to help planning.

In celebration of Burns night, we listened in via radio to Halley’s folk night the other night where staff on station came together to play music they have written and covers of bands. Thanks guys for helping us listen in, we are sad not to have been able to join in person and enjoy the music and haggis. We sent over a meteorite search themed prose that James (thanks for stepping up!) read out for us – inspired by the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet:

Meteorite, meteorite wherefore art thou meteorite,
Do not hide in the ice and refuse thy seekers,
Come to the surface and be collected by giant tweezers
And you’ll no longer be a forgotten rock.
Tis but a hard landing that is the enemy,
Thou art a hunter, but a scientist also.
What’s a meteorite? It’s not granite nor sandstone,
Nor basalt nor limestone nor any other rock belonging to earth.
Oh be not a meteorite wrong.
What is a meteorite? That which has a fusion crusted by any other appearance would not be as sweet.
So a meteorite core is full of surprises
With crystals, chondrules, and clasts a plenty.
Meteorite doff thy hiding place and for the sake of science, show us thy secrets.
And give all thy self.

Also we would like to thank vehicle mech Jack for sending us his own meteorite inspired poem:

Searching for the smallest trace
Of rocks that fell from space
But you knew where to go
And under the snow
You would find them all over the place

Hopefully the next blog will be from Halley as I am not sure how many more updates from the field can involve the words tent day, cloudy and snowy… In the meantime, we are sitting tight keeping warm with lots of hot drinks and food and are doing a lot of reading and watching some TV series and dreaming of when we will able to have a hot shower. The biggest worry is that we have only three teas bags left… 😦

— Sledge Victor Out.

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