Antarctic Life

A frozen outlook on life on the ice

I spy with my little eye... something beginning with "M"

Halley VI, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica 75°36'36"S 26°16'14"W

Temperature: -8.8°C

Wind Speed: 14.8 kts E

The scenery around Halley, whilst breathtaking, is sometimes just a little bit too white and featureless. On the days where the visibility is high enough, and the mirage of the horizon is quite pronounced the steep rise of the continental ice stream is visible and breaks up the monotony of endless flat white.

However, I managed to have the opportunity to fly out on one of the Twin Otter aircraft, VP-FBC, or Bravo Charlie as it is referred to for obvious reasons. This was incredibly exciting for many reasons, not least getting to see the continent properly as well as the chance to see something other than just an expanse of flat white.

The Shackleton Mountain rangeView from the cockpit of Bravo Charlie

The flying schedule is exceptionally volatile and is subject to change minutes before a planned departure into the field. Sometimes flights to one location are cancelled in favour of another, often changing the crew travelling to the site, and often with less than a day's notice.

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The Endurance Centenary

Off the coast of Southern Africa 29.9368°S, 12.5000°E

Temperature: +20°C

Today marks 100 years since Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance sank. It marked the end of an arduous struggle between the wooden ship and the brutal crushing power of the ice that surrounded it.

Commemorating the centenary onboard the RRS Ernest ShackletonCommemorating the centenary with the Shackleton family plaque and the RRS Ernest Shackleton plaque

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Madeira and onwards

Atlantic Ocean, Off the coast of Palma, Canary Islands 29.7011°N, 18.6195°W

Temperature: +22°C

So I've finally managed to see something worth taking a picture of during my journey south. Our first waypoint as I've mentioned is Madeira, where we had to stop to refuel in Funchal. The first sign I saw that we were finally nearing land was a solitary bird flying just outside my window - a very welcome sight having seen nothing but the vast expanse of ocean for a solid week.

I must admit having avoided being seasick for a few days, I finally started feeling a little rough once we hit the Bay of Biscay but soon found my sealegs only for us to hit dry land again!

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About Halley

Plymouth, England 50.4173°N, 4.1067°W

Temperature: +12°C

So I thought it was about time for an update but there isn't really anything exciting to show you or indeed tell you as it is mainly medical training within the local hospital here in Plymouth. Instead I thought I would give semi-regular updates on various historical things until the time comes that I can write about what is actually happening.


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