Antarctic Art & Crafts Show….?

“What do you mean arts and crafts show exactly?” Ellie (my wife) nearly fell of her broomstick when I said I was “….a bit busy as I had to go and assist with some setup for the show”….

True, it’s not my kind of thing, I will also not deny that when Nick (one of our carpenters) mentioned it I internalised a groan and thought it would be one of those half attempts at doing something which really nobody was interested in….I have to say, I was very wrong, it is amazing just how much ‘stuff’ people can make when they have a bit of notice, a bit of spare time and a challenge other than watching another pre recorded TV program in the evenings. One of the young guys made his own set of darts, there were all sorts of lamps, clocks, boxes, frames, knitted penguins and my favourite which was a framed picture of all of the soon to be winterering team as minecraft characters which was designed by one of our diesel mechanics. It was all ‘opened’ last Saturday with canapés, nibbles, champagne, some of the roughest white wine ever drunk and a speech from Nick…..Again, I take my hesitations back, it was a good night…

This week work has been fairly busy, lots of stuff needing doing before the imminent arrival of the ship hopefully middle of next week. We did a couple of transmision tower inspections this week too, whilst this isn’t urgent the weather is starting to cool down again, we’re back in minus temperatures and time spent outside can get quite cold depending on what you’re doing. The two towers we did this week were cold to the touch even with good gloves, the exposure through the gloves left me with pretty frozen hands by the time I’d finished my climb, lots of stinging as they warmed up, lots of climbing using the inside of my elbows as my hands couldn’t grip anymore…And this was just for an inspection, to actually do any maintenance on one of these towers would take some considerable planning as anything more than 5 knots of wind cuts straight through you no matter what you’re wearing – Now I know why they suggested we did the inspections in January….!

We finally managed to get the inflatable boats out on the water this week after the ice disappeared, Weds night had calmed down to about 10 knots so we all quickly got kitted up, dragged them down to the waterfront and got everyone on board, three hours later we’d all had a great night out driving amongst the bergs, plenty of penguins, plenty of photos, nice….Another life tick, no complaints at all.

The weather is coming in a bit this weekend, we’re looking at about 40 knots up on the plateau so my plans to get out this weekend for a four day walk are pretty much scuppered, still it’s the final weekend for the summerers and all the Winterers are serving them up some food on Saturday night as a thank you for all their hard work over the last few months. It’ll be kind of weird next Saturday to not have them around, the large parties, the constant buzz and atmosphere is going to change as we all settle down for ‘hibernating’ through the dark winter. I’m looking forward to the next chapter though, it’ll be nice to calm down for a bit and get some work done at a normal pace!

Till next time… 🙂






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