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Author: Martin
Date: 26.7.2011
Temperature: -27 degree C
Wind Speed: 25 knots
Temp with wind chill: -55  degree C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset n/a


It was more than six months ago that I wrote about the transition from summer to winter life here at Scott Base in Antarctica. How it felt to see a very busy high energy summer season turn into a long, dark and more inward looking winter.

 

Now after six months of having the base to ourselves and getting very used to it, our winter over team of 14 has somewhat mixed feelings about shifting into another gear again. Even though the arrival of the first plane is still almost a month away, the change ahead is clearly on everybody’s minds. Making plans for the near future, trying to finish off outstanding work, getting the base in order is mixed up with the growing excitement about more and more light appearing during the day and some special fresh food soon to come off the plane. But there is also sadness in realising that the close knit, family-like life of the past six  months comes to an end the moment the plane touches down. Our small team of conservators leaves, some new people come in and the staff at Scott Base will turn into the home stretch before the main season kicks off early October.

 

First light - Julie.jpg

First Light - Credit AHT/ Julie

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Posted by Diana

 

Date: October 20, 2010
Temperature: -22 degrees C
Wind Speed: 5 knots
Temp with wind chill: -26degrees C
Sunrise: 3:24 am
Sunset 12:07 am

 

The conservators with the Antarctic Heritage Trust come to Scott Base at Winfly (early August) and stay until almost the end of “Mainbody” ( the summer work term) when the “Winter over” conservators come in. This means that the AHT conservators get to know two seasons of Scott Base employees.
We recently took part in the Flag raising ceremony which is held to celebrate the work of the outgoing 2009/10 team by the incoming 2010/11 team. It is in commemoration of the first flag raising ceremony held at Scott Base.

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Winter flag © AHT/Diana

 

In 1957 a short but impressive ceremony took place, attended by Sir Edmond Hillary, Captain Harold Ruegg, Administrator of the Ross Dependency, Captain Kirkwood from the Endeavour, Admiral Dufek (US Navy), Captain Weiss from the USNS, Pte. John R. Towle, the press and workers associated with the establishment of Scott Base. The youngest member of the party, 20 year old Able Seaman Ramon Tito RNZN, hoisted the first flag. The flag pole used was an historic one recovered from Hut Point where it had been placed by R.F. Scott in 1902-04.

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Joel attaching the flag  © AHT/Diana

 

Our 2010 ceremony had 20 year old Joel lower the flag which flew all winter and raise the new flag. The top of the flag pole is still the original from Scott’s era.

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New flag up © AHT/Diana

 

The ceremony had a turning of the page feel about it with the excitement of the new crew at being in Antarctica and for the departing crew the prospect of seeing their families again after 13 months on the ice.
 

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Posted by Cricket

 

Date: 28 September 2010
Temperature: -28C
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Temp with wind chill: -36C
Sunrise: 6:47am
Sunset: 8:45pm

 

Last Saturday, we celebrated the end of the winter season at New Zealand's Scott Base, Antarctica, with a special dinner prepared by Bobbi, our chef.  The evening was the last time all 14 of us could unwind and be together before the 36 new summer and winter-over crews arrive this week.

Image 1.jpg

The dinner table © Antarctica NZ/Alfred

 

After an afternoon of base tasks (Diana and I worked up good appetites while helping clear snow from around all the entrances), we gathered around a table full of appetizers of herb chicken balls, spicy shrimp , pesto bruschetta and smoked salmon, and watched the beginning of the Grand Final Australian Rules Football game between St. Kilda and Collingwood.

Image 2.jpgImage 3.jpg

Dinner and dessert © Antarctica NZ/Alfred

 

We then all moved into the dining room and sat down to a  cleverly plated meal of  jam-crusted rack of lamb served with polenta, steamed green beans and honey roasted yams.  The lamb was an unusual treat since meat bones are an expensive waste on this continent where all rubbish has to be shipped out.  For dessert, we had panna cotta drizzled with blueberry sauce and topped with hardened twists of caramelized sugar.  It was a great evening.  The opportunity to relax, hear stories from the winter and laugh was the best treat, especially in light of these last couple weeks when everyone around the base seems cocooned away, spending long days in their work areas getting ready for the handover period.