One of the Toyota Hiluxes - © Jos Van Hemelrijck / International Polar Foundation

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Toyota Hilux takes a field trip while BELARE team keeps busy

The Toyota Hiluxes go on their first field trip, the last of the containers are brought from the coast, and preparations are made for installing instruments in the geomagnetic observatory.

Getting to work with the Hiluxes

Expedition leader Alain Hubert and cook Riet Van de Velde  took one of the Toyota Hiluxes on its first field expedition to the high plateau.  It was much easier to transport tools and equipment in the Hilux than on skidoos.  Being inside a Hilux certainly helps one avoid getting frostbite while driving out to the plateau!

Their mission was to retrieve two of the seismic stations Denis Lombardi had installed there last season, along with the solar panels that gave them energy.  As you may remember, an number of Denis Lombardi’s seismic stations malfunctioned over the last austral winter, and need to be brought back to Belgium to be repaired. 

Alain and Reit also serviced a Swiss automatic weather station, which was due for some maintenance.

Still lots to do

Since the first convoy carrying containers returned form the coast at the beginning of last week, the BELARE team have done a few more runs to get the remaining containers at Breid Bay and bring them to the Princess Elisabeth station. Today, three Prinoth tractors left for the coast to fetch the last six containers unloaded form the ship.  It will be good to finally have them, as the materials and equipment inside them is needed to finish the work we need to do this season.

Speaking of which, everyone at the station is working hard to complete the reconstruction of the garages before the end of the season. There are only three weeks left until the last members of BELARE 10 leave for home, so the crew is working long hours to make sure the job gets done in time.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for the installation of instruments at the Geomagnetic observatory. Last night, Nicolas Degand dug out a 400 metre-long trench from the station to the magnetic observatory in order to lay down a fiberglass cable that will provide power from the station to the instruments. Stephan Bracke, the geophysicist from the Royal Observatory of Belgium arrives tomorrow to start the work setting up the instruments.

Inside the station, the electricians are checking to make sure that everything is in order with the electrical systems to get the station through the austral winter. In order to know what is needed for next season, Kristoff continues to take inventory of parts and supplies needed to maintain the vehicles, and Doc Jacques Richon is doing the same for medical supplies and equipment.

The end of the season is fast approaching.

Author: Jos Van Hemelrijck

Picture: One of the Toyota Hiluxes - © Jos Van Hemelrijck / International Polar Foundation

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