Okay, Okay! I hear you all! Thankyou for the wonderful emails that have
been coming in..and sorry for my laziness in replying. I shall try to do
better next time!
And the questions, I’ll try to answer. It’s difficult though. It’s been
busy, very busy…but also very of-another-planet-like and I don’t
really know where to begin. Relief, Relief is when I wrote last I
think..and that was a fairly poor attempt I admit. As of New Years Eve
we’ve been off night shift, off relief and onto more of a normal
schedule, if anything here can be described as normal. The days, the
working hours, the food, the people I can all describe to you. But that
doesn’t bring across the feeling like I’m on the moon.
The working days are 8am-7pm with various tea, coffee and food breaks
in between. The food is outstanding. Yes, fresh fruit still! Fresh
veggies! Amazing vegetarian options being delivered three times a day.
Stir-fry, spanakopita, cheesecake, strudel, curry, quiche, …I haven’t
eaten this much diverse and good food so regularly..um…ever probably.
(And that’s no offence meant to my mum…it’s hard to beat two new
desserts every day!)
The people are still the same as the ones on the ship, plus those who
came in early and, of course, those who have been here all winter (or
two). Thankfully, the latter group are amazingly sane and normal. In
many ways they’re my favourite of the lot as they have a certain comme
si, comme ca about them that the ever-rushing summerers cannot enjoy,
the season being very limited in time. So much to do! Labs to build,
buildings to jack up so thy don’t get buried, generators to install,
fuel drums to be brought in and out, carpentry, electrical work, mast
erecting, cable lying, plumbing… plus, ofcourse, the science. From my
side of things I’ve started drilling a 20m hole with a hand drill (that
I’ve been dreading). It’s comical but coming along. Next comes blimp
flying and then after that, moving into the New Lab.
Aaah yes, The Lab!
It’s Up! Hurrah, hurree…amazing of most mazing days… three shipping
containers hoiked on a platform. Take off the middle walls and kaboom!
here’s a ready to rumble lab. Well, almost. We still need power, and
floors, and some work on the platform, and wiring, and plumbing… but in
principle, it’s ready to go. And what a lab! State of the Art stuff
this. My favourite bit? The electropolished tubing? The high-volume air
flow filters? The window that the laser will fire through? No, of course
The view from the window.
What a stunning job all the workers have done at not setting a toe,
boot or snowball in the Clean Air Sector to the immediate East of the
lab. It’s as if the lab was flown there. Looking out the window, there
is white. Expansive, infinite, flat…but not flat. Look at the
sastrugi! Look at the wind patterns. A solitary bird. The Clouds. Of
course, the clouds. The Sky. Always different.
Out there, out there is Antarctica. Silent, apparrantly empty,
essentially untouched by human hand. No life even.
People relate to saving trees, saving whales, protecting living things.
What are we protecting here? There is no life out there. Except the
whole of the Earth and all the life it supports. That blows my mind.