Monday, April 30, 2007

Snow and Ice.

Well April nearly at an end and the weather getting colder, there's still a lack of snow, but I can't complain as we've had nothing really but good weather apart from the odd blizzard.
My Snowboarding has come on leaps and bounds this month next month maybe I'll try extreme boarding, we'll see.

Back home in the UK you've just had the warmest April for a hundred or more so years.
If global warming keeps going the way it is there will be no ice or snow left here just rock.
The special animals that live in this place will be extinct.
So if your reading my blog Mr President and Chinese Premier STOP your countries from causing so much pollution.

Fur Seal Video.

This is a Fur Seal Just before it took my leg off for wakening it up.
They are aggressive and smell.
They are Sea lions not actually seals.

Weddell Seal Video.

This is a Weddell Seal they are very docile animals, they spend a great deal of time sleeping.
Weddell seals spend the whole year at Rothera, while most the other seals are seasonal .

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Last months moon

I took this picture last month of the moon, not quite full at the time.
You can also see Jupiter as well but it is just a bit to far for my camera to take a picture but Matt is going to try and take a pic with a more powerful lens.
As there is very little light pollution down here you get good views of the stars especially the Milky Way.

The News this week.

This week I've been signed off for Stork Bowl which means you can go to Stork snowboarding or skiing without a Field GA. The day we were up at Stork it was -35 with wind chill, now that's cold to think I'm going camping in a weeks time. I have also started making a hot tub out of the tank that we use to melt snow for drinking water in emergences, so hopefully that will be up and running soon.
The sun at the moment just manages to poke above the mountain tops.
People are finding it harder here than they thought especially with relationships back home and missing family. We all find it unbearable at times but were a good group and it's easy to see when people are struggling, then we all make an extra effort to make sure they're OK.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


We have quite a few Fur seals around the base at the moment, you have to be careful as they are vicious and they smell terrible.

This is a Crabeater seal I hope to get a photo of a Leopard seal this winter they are the equivalent of a Great White shark down here.
Leopard seals can grow over 5 meters long and have a face like a dinosaur with huge teeth.
They eat other seals and penguins.
Sadly one killed a marine biologist (Kirsty Brown) here on the 22 July 2003.

Lack of snow

We seam to be having a lack of snow at the moment and what we do get is blown away by the wind. So the ramp is just blue ice which it is impossible to drive up, so the skidoo's have been parked at the top so they can still be used for winter trips.
The snow here is so dry it doesn't stick very well, it's so strange to try and explain to you all back home.
To day was a very cold day I went over to take a fuel sample at the fuel farm with Kenny and it must have been about -15, the wind just cut straight through you and it was so painful on your face.
We are loosing about 8 minutes of light a day and the sun stays close to the horizon.
We hope to go snowboarding by full moon light in the next couple of weeks weather permitting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Climbing Stork Middle

After the Top of the Pops party it was an early start to climb Middle Stork, in the end Liz took us as our original FGA Pete hurt his ankle brake dancing.

Conditions were good and the weather not to cold.
We had all our jingly jangles that is Ice screws and all the bits required to climb safely.

Like Conquering hero's.

Looking towards North Stork

Climbing Middle Stork

What a view, I hope in years to come this place is still like this and my children get a chance to see it or even do the things I have done.



Heading back to base over a crevassed area.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some of the Top of the Pops characters

Here I am as Madonna and Ken as Johnny Rotten.

Roger as Kiss.

Again Madonna with Boy George (Jim) and Noddy Holder(Andy).
Jim pulls of Boy George to well, Frighteningly well.

The Winter Base Commander as ? I think he just likes wearing tight fitting dresses.

Marks 30th Birthday party.

You've met all the winterer's over the last few blog entries now meet them in a different light.
This was Mark Borings sorry Goring 30th Birthday party with the theme of Top Of The Pops.
The base band(Nunataaaaacks) played a cracking gig.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Andy our winter Mechanic

Andy is one of our winter mechanics.
He is so witty I can't see him making it through winter alive.
He is a keen skier and snowboarder.
He's from the biggest county in England "Wales"
He's here for 18 months, Thank god I can hear his mother saying

Mad Liz Our Winter Field Assistant

Mad Liz is a field assistant(pictured above at folk night) She is as mad as anything a great laugh. She always seams in such good spirits.
Liz Ski's and is a keen climber and is part of Lomond Mountain rescue.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scott Our Winter Joiner

Scott is our winter joiner AKA "Scott of the Falklands" as he bought every Falklands souvenir you could imagine. His job is to repair and maintain all the structures of the buildings.
Scott is from Shetland and is staying here for 18 months.
He is a good snowboarder and is learning to ski.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Roger Our Winter Field Assistant

Roger in red being interviewed by Drew in drag on folk night is another field assistant who takes care of us when out in the wilderness.
He likes anything mad and daring.
This is his second time here in Antarctica.

Alistair our Winter Doctor

Alistair is our winter Doc looking after our health, as there is no hospital available it is a pretty daunting task if any one needed an operation in the depths of winter as there may be no chance of an air ambulance getting to us.
He is a Out door sports enthusiast and fitness freak.
Very serious but we will pull him down to our level of humor by the end of winter.

Mike our Winter Base Commander

Mike is our winter base commander, he's a laid back sort of chap who used to work in America selling Viagra(no joke).
He's learning to snowboard but doesn't like the cold.
His job includes making sure the base runs smooth, sorting out problems,paperwork and making sure his staff are happy.

Kettle Curling at Fossil Bluff

Rob and I curling using a kettle and a sweeping brush on a frozen lake at Fossil Bluff.
What a laugh we had, the video was taken when we were there closing the base ready for winter.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Me Skidoo jumping

Me Skidoo jumping up at Vals

The James Clark Ross leaving

April the 12th. To day the ship left taking all none wintering personnel. We sent them off with flares and in return the captain sounded the ships horn.It was a strange feeling knowing that there are only 22 of us left here for the next seven months. The mood was quite, for me this is the point of no return, all through the summer there have been planes and ships calling so I've had the chance to leave but now the last ship has left, thats it. This is easily the hardest thing I've done to be away from my family for such a long time. Anyway winter has truly started now so I have my climbing trip to look forward to and the Antarctic winter.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Dicky Our Winter Biologist

This is Dicky's second winter here as a biologist he studies most creatures that live here. Dicky is also the deputy winter base commander.
I haven't really got to know him yet but I'm sure I will over the next couple of weeks now there are only 22 of us.

Kelvin Our Winter Dive Officer

Kelvin our winter dive officer (aka K2) being a man mountain is in charge of all aspects of dive operations from servicing equipment to dive safety.
Kelvin is staying here for 18 months.

Drew Our Winter Field Assistant

Drew our winter FA is taking me on my winter trip climbing.
He is a keen jazz singer and thinks he's funny(NOT).
No he's a good laugh and is also good at skiing and snowboarding.
He has traveled all over the world with his work.

Matt C One Of Our Winter Mechanics

Matt Churchill aka Winston is one of our winter mechanics.
He keeps him self to him self ,he enjoys work and snow boarding.
He is currently seeing a girl from the Falkland Isles her nick name is Raleigh , must be a foreign name she works nights at the Upland Goose hotel.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pete Our Head Field Assistant

Pete is our head field assistant.
What he doesn't know about climbing isn't worth knowing.
He is a sound guy.
That is his real hair and he dresses like that all the time.
He is here for 18 months.

Mark A Winter Field Assistant

Mark is a field assistant he looks after our safety when out in the field.
He's a good skier and is a laugh.

Ken Our Winter Genny Mech

Kenny our winter Genny mech he looks after our power generators.
He likes to live life to the full in every way.
Kenny is an old punk rocker and likes to wind Cyril up( our chef)
Kenny is here for 18 months.

He lives in Bulgaria

Jim Our Winter Boatman

Jim our winter boatman is in charge of maintaining and running our fleet of RIB's.
Jim's never on time.
Jim is a great snowboarder and has a good sense of humor.
He's from Inverness and is staying in Antarctica for 18 months.

Birgit Our Winter Marine Biologist

Birgit is our mad scientist from Germany. Her job is to study Marine creatures and how they survive in the cold environment and how they cope with sea temperature rises.
Her sense of humor is strange to say the least but being German we can't hold that against her.
Birgit enjoys skiing and is the dancer for the band or the flashing lights make her fit we can't be sure.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tristan our winter Communication guy.

Tristan is our winter coms guy he takes care our the computers and radios etc.
He is a strange sort from the Orkney Isles, Being a small place inbreeding probably happens which would explain his strange ways.
On a serious note he is a very funny guy and a good musician he plays the fiddle and the accordion in the band.
He is here for 18 months.
He has always wanted to be a whaler but as it was banned in the UK he tried to join Green Peace as they are always around Jap whalers.

Cyril our French winter chef

Cyril is our winter chef, he used to be a chef at the Savoy in London but due to his personal hygiene problem and turrets syndrome which keeps making him spit I think they had to let him go.
He is a keen singer and love the English swear words.
Some of his dishes include Fish bread and pork scratching biscuit's.
Mmmmmmmmm I hear you say.
This man loves to dance.

Ali our winter Marine assistant

Ali is our winter Marine assistant, Her jobs include diving and collecting sea creatures then keeping them alive till the Mad scientist Birgit can carry out wacky experiments on them.We now have double headed fish and half starfish and half prawns swimming about.
Ali Plays the Saxophone in the band and drinks pints.
She is staying in Antarctica for two years.
Her place of work is the Bonner Lab which is my morning tea stop.