Daylight Nights

Main Page
Getting Going
Saying Goodbye
Sailing South
  Off Base
Summer 07
Winter 07


A week of nights with the sun outside the window. Good because I've passed twenty four hours without seeing the sun set, and good because now the sun is drawing nearer and nearer the horizon. In a day or so it will start to graze the edge of the earth and bathe the snow with its purple orange glow. With thin clouds hugging the horizon we're seeing the seeds of what promise to be magnificient drawn out sunsets.

Being on nights, awake when all others are asleep, wasn't at all spooky, and given the varied habits of the base's inhabitants wasn't ever lonely. Most evenings I'd be wishing people off to bed so I could enjoy some solitary quiet before morning's early risers repopulated the peace.

The time is filled with pottering about and tidying up. I also got to make my mark on the scientific record with two observations of the weather each night, although my cloud spotting skills rise no higher than eight octas of boring low cloud or one octa of fluffy high up cloud in the South. I was amused, in reading the Met books, to discover that clouds and weather are quite distinct, with most nights being filled with no significant weather. Visibility ranged from around 500m up to fifty kilometers, when on a clear day we can see past the ice shelf and up onto the continent, slowing rising towards the gently shining sun in the south. One exciting shift brought about 1 km viz with falling snow and another 2km viz with blowing snow. While hard to fit in around films I welcomed the excuse to go outside for a brief moment, as otherwise opportunities to leave the platform are limited in case it should catch fire while off on a wander.

The other major task, and the only one anyone else knows you've done or forgotten, is the preparation of breakfast. Mixing up milk from powdered essence of cow and diluting down syrup thick gloops of orange juice to a less sickly liquid. Finally the bread must be baked. I was dreading this a little but seem to have got the hang it, with both attempts turning out loaves and buns that looked and tasted like bread. The key, it turns out, is to ignore the recipe posted up in the kitchen and go with what feels right. The best part is breaking the first of the fresh warm rolls for my late lunch.

Now I'm winding my body clock back onto the same rythym as everyone else, so expect a bleary-eyed weekend before I regain my proper self and launch into the last two busy weeks of the season before the summer crowd sail away.

Bread and rolls
Bread and rolls

Skidoos parked up for the night
Skidoos parked up for the night

Chris skis towards the Halley sign as the sun sets
Chris skis towards the Halley sign as the sun sets

prev: Raisednext: Skywards
Read the whole of this journal on a Kindle, iPad or PC. Ebook from or (DRM Free). Includes over 200 high quality photographs.
 ^Back to Top^ | © Alex Gough 2006-02-10 | RSS 0.91 | RSS 2.0 which Alex breaks his leg, then gets better.