The sun is getting his hat on

Main Page
Getting Going
Saying Goodbye
Sailing South
Summer 07
Winter 07
  Alone Again
  Stony Berg
  Cold Hot
  Sky Show
  Rocky Halley
  Rumples Trip
  Stuck Inside
  Back Outside
  Z or Dead
  Snow Pit
  Ice Radar


Time marches on at Halley, winds thump through the station, the sky clears and the sun emerges. I've just done my last stretch of night watch, which at the moment isn't really about darkness. The sun has one or two trips below the horizon to complete before we're into the full swing of summer. It's very odd, though, still, being the only one awake, feeling tired, and seeing so much daylight flooding the white world outside.

I used my time well, unpacking the remnants of the food from the last summer, perfecting the art of making pizzas, doing a bit of woodwork, and generally mulling over the shape of the future. As long as you can avoid feeling lonely nightwatch is something of a holiday, a relaxing break from the normal routine and for me a chance to chill out before launching into the hectic last few months of packing up and shipping out.

The weather feels like it's broken now, with long spells of sunny days drifting around the minus fifteen or minus ten mark. It's warm enough to head out in shorts, or to take long afternoon skis to the far flung landmarks of the base. While a trip to a pair of barrels four kilometers away might not sound very interesting, it isn't. But it is a little bit different to a trip around a ring of drums that are only a kilometer from anything, and that's really the thing that matters, an injection of variety and a slightly different view of everything. In fact, my last long ski was on a day with heavy miraging, when layers in the lower atmosphere bend light that skims the snow, which contrived to hide the base from view, making for a very erie experience until I headed a little closer and instead saw everything stretched to four times its proper height.

Curly wurly clouds over the riometers
Curly wurly clouds over the riometers

The weather was so good, one day, that everyone but the gash person managed to find something to be getting on with, treating us to the unusual sight of a nearly empty signing out board...

Everyone out
Everyone out

Almost but not quite entirely unlike night
Almost but not quite entirely unlike night

The almost but not quite setting sun casts a wonderful quality of light outside. The snow burns with orange edges and throws hard shadows against the warm wood of the buildings.

Drill and shadow
Drill and shadow

Glacier outside my office
Glacier outside my office

Glacier in the window
Glacier in the window

We're expecting the first load of Other People in the next week, along with Fresh Food and, if we're lucky, New Jokes. Everyone is very excited about the prospect of a Stranger to talk to, even if it does mean we have to tidy away all the mess we've accumulated over the winter...
prev: Stuck Insidenext: Invaders

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 2007-10-29 | RSS 0.91 | RSS 2.0 ... it gets cold again