Date: 11 August 2010
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Temp with wind chill: -45°C
Moonrise: Below horizon
Moonset: Below horizon
It’s almost Winfly (the start of flights into Antarctica following four months of total darkness and six months of isolation for the New Zealand team on the Ice). On Friday we are expecting the first flight since the 5th of March. The Winfly flights are bringing new people and supplies- including fresh fruit and vegetables. Whilst the prospect of new people is a bit daunting after spending almost six months with just 211 other people (which includes all from Scott Base and the American research station at McMurdo), we are all looking forward to the freshies (fresh fruit and vegetables). Hopefully T3 polar syndrome, which causes memory loss among other things, will not get the better of us, causing the freshies to be collected and the new people to be forgotten out on the ice runway.
View of Scott Base from the windfarm at midday.
© AHT/J. Hamill
It is still dark but now the sunlight is beginning to make a welcome appearance on the horizon in the middle of the day. Today I travelled out onto the Ross Ice Shelf to check on one of the science experiments measuring the sea ice. The sky was overcast but a tantalizing glow over the Transantarctics heralded the return of the sun. We have another 7 days to wait until it climbs above the horizon, but it is really beginning to feel like the long dark night is finally coming to an end.
View of Mount Erebus at midday with Inaccessible Island in the Ross Ice Shelf to the left.
We are finishing up our work in the lab and getting ready to hand over to the summer team of conservators who arrive on Saturday. It’s hard to believe that we have been here over six months and even harder to imagine we will be leaving in just over a week!