Dec 12 25
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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.

Arriving at Novo

Arriving at Novo

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.

Aerial view of Halley VI

Aerial view of Halley VI

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.

Halley 5 destruction

Halley 5 destruction

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.

Halley 5 is nearly gone!

Halley 5 is nearly gone!

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.

Penguins at Windy Bay

Penguins at Windy Bay

Penguins

That’s all for now… more on the new workshop build and reufurb in a few weeks.

Series - Antarctic Painting

  1. Polar Painting
  2. Journey South
  3. The Journey Continues; Iceberg Ahoy!
  4. Ice Ice Baby
  5. The Weddell Sea
  6. Nearly there!!
  7. Halley 6 : On The Ice
  8. All Work and No Play
  9. Different Shades of Grey
  10. Racing Penguin
  11. The Move Begins
  12. Moving Postcard from Antarctica
  13. Winter approaches
  14. The Halley Marathon
  15. The Final Week
  16. The Journey North
  17. Antarctic Painting – Year 3
  18. Antarctic Demolition
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