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Antarctic conservation

3 Posts tagged with the winter_over tag

Leaving a mark

Posted by Conservators Aug 20, 2013

Author: Stefanie    

Date: 20 August 2013

Temperature: -15.3

Wind speed: 12 knots

Temp with wind chill: -45

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A



Andrew Keith Jack, part of the Ross Sea Party, owned a yellow oiled jacket and slept in the same bottom bunk bed as Thomas Griffith Taylor had in 1911 in the Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans. We know this because his name is inscribed with the same hand on both: 'A K Jack' has been written in thick bold letters on the inner collar of the yellow jacket and on the wall beside the bunk in the Hut. Thomas Griffiths Taylor also wrote his initials at the same bunk. The names on the walls continue to mark a presence, promoting historical value. 

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A K Jack's yellow oiled jacket

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A K Jack's mark in bunk


For most, wintering over in the Antarctic is a once in a lifetime opportunity and therefore leaving ones mark behind can be significant and meaningful. At Scott Base we cannot write our names on the walls beside our beds or leave our belongings behind when we depart. Rather, we leave behind a mark in the form of a winter-over photo, which depicts each member of our 2013 winter-over team and hangs on the winter-over wall of fame.


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Winter-over wall of fame


With the ever increasing light on the horizon, we can see the end of winter and anticipate the first sun rise, flight and fresh food with great excitement. But we must also prepare to say our farewells and leave. Last Wednesday, we celebrated our last supper together as a team and the following day Stefan and Marie left us. It is oddly reassuring that they remain with us in the form of floating heads in the 2013 winter-over photo…


Being and Time

Posted by Conservators Jul 21, 2013

Author: Stefanie

Temperature: -25.6

Wind speed: 21 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A



I came to the Antarctic with a list of personal projects to achieve during my 8 month winter-over on the ice.  I imagined time passing very slowly over the dark winter months with seldom to do every evening. Consequently, I assumed it would allow one to accomplish several goals and I would finally finish Joyce's Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and Heidegger's Being & Time, play the piano every day, learn another language and carve a chess set.


After 6 months of wintering over, I can now safely say that time passes very quickly and we always have so much to do. Having incorporated some of our personal objectives into everyday life, our evenings are always very busy. On Monday evenings, Marie and I attend a car mechanics class delivered by the base mechanic, Lex.  On Tuesday's, Jam and I have French class taught by Marie. Wednesday's have recently been nominated an evening to go climbing and the rest of the week's evenings are dedicated to the gym, social events, and the opportunities to learn unique skills like, for example, surgical suture.

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Dr. Fay from McMurdo Station teaches Marie and me how to stitch a cut would. Credit Becky Goodsell


Under the guidance and instruction of Dr. Fay from McMurdo Station, and armed with curved surgical needles, scalpels, forceps, syringes and pig skin, we set about learning sutures, stitching techniques and suturing a wound infield.


Drawing Penguins

Posted by Conservators Jul 28, 2011

Author: Sarah
Date: 27 July 2011
Temperature: -25
Wind Speed: 5 knots
Temp with wind chill: -30
Sunrise: Na
Sunset Na

The drawing of penguins has been done by many explorers. These quirky and amusing birds are a pleasure to draw. Edward Wilson, of Scott’s 1910 Terra Nova Expedition, was a master of drawing both Adelie and Emperor penguins. Wilson did both serious scientific drawing and comical pictures of the penguins.

Many of Wilson’s scientific drawings can be seen at the Scott Polar Institute website, one of my favourites is:

In this fine tradition, I began to draw penguins and in particular the Adelie penguins, whose antics and facial expression are so easy to caricature. I have been drawing cartoons of all the members of Scott Base and the picture shows us all together.



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Winter Overs’ Cartoon of the Scott Base crew as penguins © Sarah Clayton