Unoading and Greetings - © International Polar Foundation

in News

Live from Antarctica: January 16th

Philippe Herman and the mechanics (Mike and the Mechanics) have gone to the coast to fetch some equipment and carry out the second to last traverse back to the station. Soon, there will only be barrels of fuel left to bring back. They reported a complete white-out on their way to the coast.

Hopefully, the weather will be better today. At Utsteinen it is warm and pleasant, with no wind and only a few clouds on the eastern horizon. Remnants of the storm that made the Ivan Papanin slow to make harbour... The ship has arrived in Cape Town, the scientists (Alain de Broyer and Antoine Joris) have disembarked and will be heading home soon. The cargo is being unloaded and the ship will then head south again to supply the German station Neumayer and pick up some ice cores from the Norwegian-US traverse at 5°E.

The station is advancing fast: we now have new accommodation in the hangars for 32 people, the solar thermal panels are going up on the station roof, the cable trays are almost finished and the heavy pieces are in place in the technical core except for one water tank. The ventilation system is currently being unpacked, and Steven from Beltherm is busy sorting out the hundreds of bits that will go into the station.

The under-roof technical spaces are rapidly becoming very confined, meaning that fewer and fewer people can actually get in there to work. In the living areas, there is felt on the walls and the wood is being oiled. It looks very chic. Alain has already reserved his room.

The cooks are amazing: they are so professional that we almost feel obliged to make reservations before we come and eat. They really are a great help: emptying the containers and organising all the food stock so that we can do the inventory next week, buzzing back and forth between the station and the base camp with supplies, cutting ice blocks for the snow melter, cooking, cleaning, and keeping morale high.

Nighat Amin

Author: IPF

Picture: Unoading and Greetings - © International Polar Foundation

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