As ever the start of the Halley season started with the long journey from London to Cape Town and then the flights to Antarctica. We boarded the usual Russian Ilyshun which lands on an ice runway and then did the 5 hour flight from Novo to Halley in a Basler aircraft.
The view of the new base at Halley 6 is pretty impressive as you fly in, although it still looks pretty small and insignificant on the Brunt Ice Shelf.
We were only on base for a day before the demolition team were off to the Halley 5 site to begin the destruction. It was as if the occupants had just left for a day out when we got there; food still in the fridge, plates on the tables, infact everything all still in place. All this had to be removed and sorted: Wood/plastic/copper/metal and then things we could use back at Halley 6 for the refurb of the Drewry building later in the season. It was all sorted and bagged for recycling; we have a 9 man environmental team arriving soon to check the site.
Soon it was on to the bigger tools, chainsaws, and cranes and in a matter of 2 weeks, the Laws building, the Piggott building and the Simpson were just a memory and a set of flags marking where they had been. They are now all palleted and waiting for the Cargo ship to arrive to take out all the waste.
This year the sea ice is fairly bad for the 2 ships to tie up close. The sea ice is extensive and thick with pressure ridges, which means that when the RRS Shackleton arrives we will be unloaing/loading (termed relief) at N9 which is a good 4 hour drive away. This entails a 24 hour relief period with day/night shifts for a week. Bummer.
What’s bad for the ships though is good for the penguins at Windy bay, and I took a visit last week to see how they are doing. With calm weather and good sea-ice there are loads of chicks this year and they all look to be doing really well. Some are beginning to moult to their adult coat and will soon be off to sea.
That’s all for now… more on the new workshop build and reufurb in a few weeks.
Series - Antarctic Painting
- Polar Painting
- Journey South
- The Journey Continues; Iceberg Ahoy!
- Ice Ice Baby
- The Weddell Sea
- Nearly there!!
- Halley 6 : On The Ice
- All Work and No Play
- Different Shades of Grey
- Racing Penguin
- The Move Begins
- Moving Postcard from Antarctica
- Winter approaches
- The Halley Marathon
- The Final Week
- The Journey North
- Antarctic Painting – Year 3
- Antarctic Demolition