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Wrapping up the season

Posted by Conservators Jan 29, 2013

Author: Lizzie

Date: 29 January 2013

Temperature: -5.5C

Wind Speed: 11 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A

 

 

The summer team and I have recently arrived back at Scott Base. Something of a shock to be around so many people once more, but we have dredged up our rusty social skills and have been enjoying catching up with the many science teams and support staff inhabiting the base at this time of year. January at Cape Evans seemed to fly by as we worked hard to complete all the tasks on the work programme. A lot of long days and evening work were put in,  but we had the satisfaction of completing the conservation of over 100 wooden and plywood boxes used by the Scott Expedition to store fuel and food. Back in their original locations on the hillside, their ability to withstand the fierce storms of winter has been ensured for the next few decades.

 

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Historic fuel boxes, conserved, Cape Evans

 

January saw huge changes at the site as the melt season continued. Previous work by the Trust means that meltwater is diverting well away from the hut itself.  As these small streams melt the sea they create meltpools in which Adelie penguins and seals became our frequent visitors.

 

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Adelie penguins heading for the meltpools, Cape Evans © AHT/Lizzie

 

A magical time to be out in the field, and we were all sad to leave. The next blog you read will be courtesy of the incoming winter team who we meet this week at Scott Base to introduce to their season ahead. There are some fantastic artefacts in store for their winter so check back in to see what they are conserving in the months ahead.

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Discovery Hut, Hut Point

Posted by Conservators Jan 17, 2013

Author: Karen    

Date: 13 December 2012

Temperature: -3C

Wind speed: 15 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A

 

 

 

While back at Scott Base there is some work to do at Discovery Hut, Hut Point, McMurdo Sound. Discovery Hut was built in 1902 by Captain Scott's party.  It was designed by Professor Gregory and prefabricated by James Moore before being brought south by ship.  It's almost square with a veranda running around three sides.  Unfortunately, although the walls were insulated with felt, it was still very cold and very difficult to keep warm.  This led to the ship, (Discovery) moored approx. one kilometre away being used for the first year as living quarters and the hut being used predominately as a large store room.  During the second year, occasionally a party would sleep inside, but no bunks or permanent sleeping quarters were ever erected.

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   Discovery Hut, Hut Point © AHT/Karen

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    Vince's Cross, Hut Point © AHT/Karen

 

On the hill behind Discovery Hut, a cross was erected in 1904 to the memory of George Vince who returning to the hut in a blizzard in 1902, slipped over an ice precipice to his death.

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Martin surveying the internal windows © AHT/Karen  

                                            

The Trust is planning to start conservation work on Discovery Hut during the Antarctic summer of 2013/14.  This season, one of the tasks on the work list, was for Martin and I to survey the external and internal windows in order for them to be conserved next season.  Conserving these windows will help stop snow from entering the building and causing further damage. It only takes one small crack somewhere in the hut to allow snow to enter, and very quickly you have a huge pile of snow.  There is a lot of work to be completed before the hut is secure and weather tight.  

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Leaving Cape Evans

Posted by Conservators Jan 8, 2013

Author: Karen

Date: 11 December 2012

Temperature: -1.5C

Wind speed: 5 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A

 

 

 

The hagglund arrived at 10.15am to pick us up and take us back to Scott Base.  But first Martin and Kevin had to identify two safe routes down to the sea ice, in order for us to stage (put all the items in one place) our cargo.  This would make it much easier when loading the Hagglund.  One route was identified from the carpentry workshop/field laboratory area and another from Scott’s hut.  Kevin made a temporary wooden bridge across one of the tide cracks as it was just a little too big to step across safely.

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The temporary bridge across one of the tide cracks © AHT/Karen

 

The ice had just started to break up around our camp and there were many tide cracks, which you could easily fall down and twist an ankle, so great care was required, especially when carrying artefacts.  We had our first lunch of soup and bread and proceeded to load the hagglund.  It took around 2½ hours.  We were taking artefacts from Scott’s hut back to Scott Base for our winter conservation team to conserve during the Antarctic winter season (Feb - Aug 2013).

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Jana loading artefacts © AHT/Karen

 

It was a very sad time, my final visit to Scott's hut, it truely is an amazing place, Scott's hut is very powerful and I found it extremely difficult to walk down to the sea ice and climb into the Hagglund.  The journey back to Scott Base was slow and took approximately 3 hours; this was because we had to travel at 10km per hour, due to having artefacts on board.  On arrival at Scott Base, we unloaded the artefacts and headed for the showers.  After showering, we met in the dining room for dinner. It had been a long, exhausting but very rewarding day and we all slept extremely well that night.