Right. Enough with them there foreigners. South Africans, Russians, etc...let's get back to jolly old British soil. By which I mean a floating ice shelf claimed by the UK amidst dispute.
Ah, but it's good to be back! Here's the good old Laws building.
Photo courtesy of Andy Dixon, as my camera is rubbish. It is now officially at the surface level of the snow around it (although it dips in the immediate vicinity). By next year, it may be below the surface, which may make for some pretty dull views from the windows. Once again, I've been lucky enough to score a bedroom on the Laws, which means I don't need to put on boots to get to the bar (which, sadly, I am not frequenting much this year due to my schedule).
Food is starting to run low, though. Ship is a bit late. Here is our drinks fridge:
Those of you who know your refreshments may identify that nothing is left but tonic water and lime bitters. No Coke. No Fanta. That's right - the only two beverages we have left are quinine-based. And we have no gin.
My Simpson buliding, however, remains the same:
(credit: Andy Dixon) The Simpson doesn't bury too much. Andy has taken some great pictures around the station, although he and his Photoshop friend "Shuggy" may have taken a bit of artistic license with the view out the Simpson office window:
Either that, or I'm just not looking out the window at the right times. Usually it's pretty empty out that direction.
Work for me has been same old, same old. Go visit a GPS station that looks like this:
Do a bit of this:
...and leave it looking like this.
and then go back to Halley with nothing but GPS records and a bit of lower back pain to remind me of the trip, until next year. (When someone else will do it!)
I'm a bit pictured out, so I'll save the penguin pics for another post. I'll throw in two, though. I managed to get down to Windy Bay - and once again, my nearby GPS station meant that I got to go before anyone else - and now, the sea ice has broken out yet again and there may not be any more penguin trips this season, so I got lucky. Because I cheaped out and got a £20 camera from a pawn shop, my pictures aren't so hot:
Whereas Chris, pictured above taking a similar picture of me, has a kickass camera:
...so I may end up showing his pictures instead, with his permission.
Relief is about to begin, but I'm base-side for once, not ship-side. I have mixed feelings on this - it's easier at base, but not quite as exciting. And I miss the Shack, which will not be my mode of departure from Halley, it seems. Nope, from now on it my Antarctic work will be in conjunction with this little guy here:
Photo courtesy of Andy Dixon. Man, I wished I spent a few more quid on my camera.