After a previous failed mission to Romnoes, today seems to be the day for! So, here we go, second chance for us. Total Travel Distance: 125 Km. Estimated Time: 9 hrs. Vehicle: Skidoo.
Henri (Station’s Assistant Manager) is waiting for us outside to record and capture in pictures our departure. “All the best folks” he said, while we slowly left the station.
After a long period of bumps on the skidoo, the discover of blue ice was just fantastic! When driving in Antarctica there are certain rules. You always should drive in one line, keeping a prudence distance from each other and checking behind for the rest of crew. The order was always Manu opening in the front, me in the middle and Preben closing the line. But well like any other law, I suppose there is always an exception, right? Suddenly, I lost Preben. He was not behind me anymore … he was there, somewhere enjoying the drive on the blue ice like he was in a rally car race! He had so much fun! Me, forget it. I don’t have the skills. I was just too focused not to slide or turn over the skidoo, because there are not stable as they look like.
After the “blue race” on the ice we reached our site. The weather is almost like beach weather for Antarctica. Pretty warm, so very nice to do our job. Everything went according to the plan. Samples recovered, replaced by new ones and once again we are done!
Time to come back home. In our way back, Alain, the manager of the station called on the radio and invited us to make a quick stop at Perseus. A new site where part of the construction station’s team is working for a future airplane landing area. It is quite impressive to see these huge machines and trucks removing snow from one side to another and building things in such in hospital place.
Thankfully for the visit and the warm welcoming coffee we must continue; PEA is 60 Km away. It is already the afternoon, so better keep moving if we want to be on time for dinner!
A couple hours later… 7:55 PM, just 5 minutes before Christine’s bell rings to announce dinner, we arrived sound and safe! No time for clean up or organize the stuff we brought back from the field … it’s time to run upstairs, grab a plate and wait in queue before the food is gone! We are more than 30 people now, so rather be the first than the last one! Digestive tea after the delicious Lasagna and off to bed we go because in two days the greatest traverse of this mission is coming.
More stories in the next blog,