Friday, January 05, 2007

Dead dogs and pisco sour

After a false start due to the wrong kind of snow, we said our goodbyes again and escaped the pull of planet rothera. Tom and I spent yesterday wandering around Punta smelling things and looking at trees. Having said that, there was surprisingly little culture shock - it all seemed pretty normal pretty quickly. The pidgin spanish is coming along well - ordering beer, wine and pisco sours are all no problem now although things are a bit more pot luck when it comes to ordering dinner. In fact, probably the most difficult thing to adjust to after living in a place where we're all interdependant is being looked after in a hotel - we keep trying to tidy up after ourselves which confuses the staff at the hotel. That and the hours of the nightlife - we're looking for nightclubs when most people are still eating dinner.

Flying to Stanley tomorrow on a commercial flight which will be a bit of a change after the Dash7 - I'll have to remember not to go up to the cabin to chat to the pilots while we're in the air. And i'd better take the flares out of my hand luggage.

Then it's off to James Ross Island. This was taken from the campsite that last year's field party used.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm off!

Well that's it - I'm all packed, the dash7 is working and the weather seems to be improving. The plan is for me to head north tomorrow, up to Punta Arenas then get a commercial flight to Stanley and meet the HMS Endurance there for a month of flying about in helicopters then home for tea and medals. I've been walking around with my wallet in my pocket to get used to the weight. Although being surrounded by people that i don't know might take a bit more getting used to.... Tomorrow there will be two very startled looking guys sitting in a chilean bar!

Going deeper.....

RABID is at about 79 south. The mountains in the background are the ellsworths with is where mt vinson and the like are. It's not a bad view for a petrol station.

This is about the point where my boss realised that the person that was as far south as anyone in BAS was the same person who had to be on a plane to Punta Arenas in a week. Nico and i flew to sky blu where the dash7 was waiting for me to take me back to Rothera for christmas dinner.

Fossil Bluff

Summer is a bit swings and roundabouts. On the one hand, we get post and fresh food. I didn't realise how good bananas tasted. On the downside we have to do some serious work. One of the first jobs is to open up the Fossil Bluff and Sky Blu depots. 'the bluff' is the closest, most relaxed and in early season has really good skiing so i was pretty happy to get out there. Having said that the sun is pretty strong even early season so we were having to be out the door before 6am to get decent snow. Then the rest of the day is spent refueling planes and doing weather observations.