Saturday, 10 January 2009


And I'm back on base! Relief took five days in total.

In case anyone's picked this blog up less than a calendar year ago - relief is the brief, intense period where all of the supplies needed for the upcoming season are unloaded from the ship and taken to base. Once again, I was a sea ice driver's mate; that's the guy who accompanies a Snow Cat driver as he takes a load of cargo up from the ship side, on precarious sea ice, up to the stable ice shelf. And if he goes through the ice, I throw him a rope and pull him out. Otherwise, I just mainly work with the banksman (Lenny the Singing Welshman; what he lacks in tone, he makes up for in volume) to get the cargo off the ship with the crane, and hitch/unhitch sledges of goods at the ice shelf end.

The distance this year was only a couple hundred metres. And so, the bulk of my time I spent looking at this view:

We did have a few animal guests; one young emporer in particular seems enthralled with the ship:

...but occasionally, he got tuckered out and would take brief naps between periods of ship-staring...

and staring competitions with the ship's crew:

One big upside: I got a ship room to myself for the duration. En suite, too! Not bad. I enjoyed my last long "hollywood" shower where I didn't have to think about water consumption.

But those days are over. I'm back on base, sitting in my office, and moved into my new room. This one is in the Drewry building, not the Laws where I was living last year. The Drewry is a summer-only building, whose interior is plywood-themed with stainless steel accents. Definitely has more of a bachelor-pad feel than last year on the Laws. Pictures to follow, to continue my building-by-building tour of Halley from last year.

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