Saturday, 5 October 2013

The end of winter

film festival evening
And there it is! The end of winter and over a year ago I started my employment with BAS.I have still got plenty of things to tell about on my blog. But at this point I just want to say that so far it has been an amazing experience and I am sure there is lots more to come! For those who don’t know yet: I am staying for another winter. I will go home in November for 4 weeks on a sanity break (lol) and be back down here (on the ship again – yippie) for Christmas. Maybe this time, I won’t miss the skiing on Boxing Day!
Plane approaching runway.

Last week, we had the first planes come through which just visited for a day (to swap from wheels to skies) and continued on to the South Pole. They brought freshies (whoop whoop!) and we practised some socialising in the evening (ok, no penguins noises or saying inappropriate things ...). However, after I tried to talk to them a little, they left ... I will not take this one personal ;) They were probably just tired.

Landed safely.
Last Saturday, we had our last Saturday Night together which was celebrated in true Rothera fashion. We had our dinner upstairs and the evening was accompanied by various videos people on base had made (I myself managed to put one together last minute and for the first attempt I was quite happy with it – considering I had not seen the whole thing myself before it was viewed).
Now, we just have to brush the base up a little more and are otherwise ready for the BAS planes to come in by the end of this week.

 And the video I made is on youtube (hope it stays on this time ...):

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Come Dine with Me

So – what else do we do to spend our time? In order for our chef (Issy) to have some days off during the week, we put our names down on a rota to take cooking in turns. Issy had the idea to make it a little more interesting and introduce for nights where we would be competing against each other in “Come Dine with Me” style (Das perfekte Dinner!). We were divided into 4 teams which cooked on different Saturdays. To make it fair, each team had a girl in it. The teams gave each other points for wow-factor, food and dining experience. The whole thing was pretty amazing as it made those Saturdays something different!

Team Mairi
Team Mairi had the difficult task to go first and they did a brilliant job, setting the bar every high for everyone else. They put a tent-like structure up in the dining room with low tables and sledges with soft sheepskins to sit on. Tilli lamps were used to light the tent up. The food was amazing (sort of Arabian style) and it was super comfi!

Team Brina
We were up next. Believe it or not, I did not suggest this! But the boys (good to have a plumber and electrician on the team) put together some pipes to hang above the dinner table where people could pour their own beer from (only having beer out of bottles made having beer from the tab quite special). So, of course, we had a German Beer festival evening with Laugenbretzel, Knoedel, roter Gruetze and more! Lots and lots of work but overall a fun night!

Photo: Tom Welsh
Photo: Tom Welsh
Photo: Someone from my group ...

Team Rose
Team Rose introduced the evening in a very special way. The boys had spent weeks digging out a snowcave which had seats and even a bar in it! After having our drinks, we went to the dining room which was decorated with frozen hands and had overall an icy atmosphere to it (just in the spirit of the evening – no, I don’t mean the mood, just the snowcave ;)). Food again, was amazing!

Photo: Steve

Team Amber
Last but not least, Team Amber did a French evening where despite being in Antarctica we were taken to Paris for one night with a view onto the Eifel Tower and exquisite food!

Apparently, the scores were very close, but of course there has to be a winner in the end which was Team Amber.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Winter Trip No 2 - Friday

On the way back near the pass, the other
two out on their trip are climbing a new route.

The weather is supposed to get quite bad in the next couple of days so we had to leave today. We got up, had manfood for breakfast (all-day breakfast) and de-camped afterwards (took the camp down and packed everything onto the sledges). Then we drove back. On the way, Steve placed new flags to mark the way through the pass as the old ones were getting quite buried. Other than that stupid me lost the GPS on the way (I was concentrating too much on staying

Steve putting new flags out in the pass.

the right distance to the sledge in front of me so the line would not get pulled by me... oh well, shit happens). Driving up on the other side of the pass was quite exciting as we had to get enough speed to be able to tow the sledges up which was quite a bit faster than we usually drive!
On the way we stopped at Orca crevasse as I had not been in it yet. However, we were not able to get very far as the roof had dropped quite a bit and it was not safe to venture into it anymore. It was still pretty impressive.
We got back home later in the afternoon. What a week! We were so lucky with the weather. No days of lie up is pretty rare. And on top of that we had hardly any wind and cloud either! 

Me on the skidoo. (Photo: Steve)

Photo: Steve

Scrambling down the crevasse. (Photo: Steve)

Scrambling out of the crevasse.
Rather less elegant, but I got out. (Photo: Steve)

View from the top of the crevasse.

View from the top of the crevasse.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Winter Trip No 2 - Thursday

Yay. Made it to the top (Photo: Steve)

We got up around 8am to leave for Snow Ditte. AND I DID IT! Took us about 2 hours to get up and 1 hour to get back down. It wasn’t anywhere as difficult and scary as I thought it would be. We had an awesome view from the top (even spotted Rothera in the distance) and some refreshments. However, we soon had to leave as there was a slight very chilly breeze on the top. When we stopped on the way down, I nearly forgot my ice-axe (we had to go a short bit back up – whoopsie). Just for your information, Snow Ditte is 1309m high.

We had a lazy afternoon after getting back to the tent with Ministerone, Sudoku, knitting (yes, part of

Lazy time!

my cardigan which is still not finished, has been knitted in a tent in Antarctica) and my music (poor Steve, most of it was in German ...). Only downside was, that the battery of my kindle was empty, but hejho – survived that as well. The evening was just as lazy with port and wine. For dinner we had

quite a creation: rice, tuna, sweet paprika, cashews and some kind of sauce. For dessert we had some of the cakes which I had made (for the Germans: Amerikaner).

I nearly forgot to mention that we discovered that it is indeed possible to freeze red wine. The bottles which were on the side of the tent popped open (the cork came out) and the wine was frozen solid. So wine must freeze somewhere around -20 degrees...

Tomorrow, it is home time already :( Might need a holiday after this holiday ;)

Rothera in the distance, half hidden by the mountain. (Photo: Steve)

On the way up, still a long way to go. (Photo: Steve)

Little break on the way. (Photo: Steve)

Happy <(") (Photo: Steve)

And that is where we went up, up to the right of the rocks, over the hump to the peak.