Date: 24 October 2012
I was up at 4am all bags packed and just about to get dressed up in my warm gear for the 5 hour flight to Scott Base. My excitement to be finally on the way to the “ice” was turned to disappointment on receiving the news that bad weather on Ross Island had delayed our departure by at least 24 hours.
My mind turned to the weather and how much we take it for granted these days. Today we simply have to log on to the internet, google “Antarctic weather” and we are given a choice of sites to look at. Sites such as http://www.yr.no/place/Antarctica/Other/Scott_Base/ This Norwegian weather organization gives us hour by hour predictions and information as well as links to web cams that show us what it is actually like now. Antarctica New Zealand also hosts webcams on their website http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/
Cape Evans Stevenson's screen © AHT/Falcon
So different from the explorers of just over a 100 years ago, at the forefront of the science of meteorology as we know it today. For them, looking at satellite images from a warm office was not an option. They were required to go out to the weather station whatever the weather, getting dressed up in all of their warm clothing, often struggling against the conditions to find the weather station, physically handling the instruments, recording the information on paper before resetting the instruments, and then struggling back to the sanctuary of their huts, frozen to the core. It is easy to forget that whilst others were out performing deeds of derring-do, the seemingly endless scientific tasks such as recording the weather continued to be carried out by those whose names have not become household.
Reinstalling the conserved Stevenson's screen © AHT/Gord
Last season the weather station at Cape Evans was skillfully conserved by fellow team member Martin, and placed back in its original position as testament to those who visited it many times a day month after month. Personally I am itching to get on site and continue the skilled work carried out by those before me.