Thursday, May 31, 2007

Snow drifts

Today we woke to a bit of a blizzard and there was a huge snow drift between Admirals where we sleep and Bransfield house where we work and eat. As you can see by this doorway the snow soon builds up.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Sky at Night

As there is no light pollution here we get a good view of the night sky, these pictures were taken by Alister the base Doctor at Skiway Coll.

The picture above shows the Milky Way, thousands of stars.

Early Halloween Party

Halloween party I know it's 5 months early but any excuse for a party.

Me (Stephen Boulton) as Uncle fester, Ken as Freddy Krueger and Andy as Beetle Juice

Cyril made no effort and just came straight from work.

Scott as the Invisible Man and I, What a night to much drink the base was very quiet the next day.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How much fun can you have with a glove.

It's not that we are bored but anything can be funny down here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day light

When I arrived at Rothera in December (Antarctic summer) we had 24 hour day light now the sun doesn't even make it above the mountains. We get some spectacular sunrises at about 11.30 and there is only about 4 hours of good light left in the day.

Lenticular clouds and late nights.

The picture above is of Lenticular clouds above Stork.
Yet again I'm writing my blog after 12.30am I just can't seem to sleep I don't know if it is because we don't get much day light now or maybe it's lack of exercise.
Today I've nearly finished my Mid winters present which will be given to one of my other friends on Mid winters day.
On Monday it was my son Ashley's birthday he was 15 by the time I get home he will be doing his exams and thinking what he will want to do when he leaves school, If nothing else I hope I have taught him to travel the world and experience what it has to offer.
The World is a beautiful place see it, experience it and live it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Leopard Seal Apex predator

The Leopard Seal is the Apex predator down here in Antarctica with only one rival the Killer Whale.
Both eat Seals, Penguins and the killer whale will eat other whales.
The Leopard Seal has attacked and killed a Marine biologist at Rothera a few years ago, whilst she was snorkeling.

The Leopard seal has a huge head with powerful jaws and large teeth.
Its head has a dinosaur shape to it.
It grows to 3.5m long and over.

Out in the cold WORKING

Another days work,
Altering a fuel delivery line to a higher position so when Kenny has to refuel he doesn't have to dig it out as the snow will soon start drifting in and it probably gets over 2m on this side of the building.
Still what a place to work.

Climbing on Reptile Ridge

On Saturday I went climbing on Reptile Ridge with Mark and Dicky. It was a good day, cold but clear.

Dicky and Mark (top)

Looking back towards base.

Nunatackkkkk The base Band

Nunatackkkk the base band will be performing on Live Earth later this year.
This video was shot at Marks Birthday a few weeks ago.

Day Seven

On waking we heard no wind so we got up and looked out and thought we would chance packing up camp. As you can see the sledges and doo's along with everything else had to be dug out.

It took about 4 hours to pack everything away and the weather looked OK so we went for it.

Heading back to Rothera Winter trip over.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day six -62

Day six broke and it had was as bad as the rest but colder, by the time I finished filming the video my fingers were frozen to the point I couldn't use them. The temperature was -62 inclusive of wind chill. So yet another day in the tent.

Day five

You guessed it, Strong winds and snow.
Another day in my sleeping bag.

I've been in here to long I've even got the Scott look.

Drew and I after Winning a pub type quiz against Sledge Oscar (who were seven miles away)
on the radio.
Even though they will say they won,there was quiet a lot of cheating going on,on their part.
Named and shamed as Mark Goring and Matt Balmer.

Day four

Another day of strong wind and this time it wasn't caused by the Man Food, gusting over 30 knots.

The highlight of my day I think was going the LOO.
When your in the tent you have a pee bottle which you use and empty when its full but anything else you have to go to the pup tent.

Drew The chief cook, washer up and Sherpa.
He did a great job of looking after me.

Day three

We woke to snow and strong wind.

The Skidoos getting drifted in
There was nothing to do but stay in the sleeping bag and read and listen to Drew's witty repartee.
As you can see there's not much room.
I read Scott of the Antarctic which is a great book ,what a man.
Just hoped we didn't end up like him.

Day two cont

These are the only two photos I have of the climb as I was to busy holding on plus I was knackered.

It took us 1 1/2 hour to climb up but 3 hours to climb back down.
It was a mixed route ice and rock but there was no where to get a fixing.
It was a great day but very tiring.

Day two

How Idyllic, remember this picture because it's the last clam day we had.

Nunatack 26 we hoped to climb some new routes on our trip.

Winter Expedition 2007

Well a Cold misty start for my winter trip.It was touch and go whether we went on Monday as it was very Misty and not good for travelling over crevassed glaciers as you need contrast and definition. Its hard to describe but if you don't have the right conditions you can't tell whether the land ahead is sloping up or down, you also can't judge distance and mostly you can't see crevasses.

Only fifteen minutes into our journey we had to stop and wait for the mist to clear. We travelled linked together .So the front skidoo is joined to the first sledge by a 10m rope then to my skidoo by a 30m rope then from me to my sledge by another 10m rope, both Drew and I were then attached to our doo's by a life line so if one of our doo's went down a crevasse we would be safe.

It was so cold my visor frosted up, when I opened that my eye lashes started to freeze together.
At last we reached our camp site Nunatack N26 this was to be our home for the next seven days. For what should have been a weeks climbing.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

In Memory of Alec Ferrier

Bad news from home and so far away.
Today I phoned home and my wife was all upset she told me that her Granddad had
passed away.
He was one in a million, such a funny guy with his jokes and stories.
He lived life to the full and never let anything keep him indoors.
He will be missed by all.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another great day out.

Well Next week I begin my winter trip camping and climbing with Drew, So I hope to have many more good climbing pictures to show you.

Climbing at Badger Buttress

Drew leading the way with a mist halo in the back ground.

Beginning our assent of the Crag.

It was nothing difficult but the views were amazing at the top.


It was great being above the mist and seeing the views, we are so lucky to be here.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Working in a Confined space.

Today Ken and I had to clean out the fuel oil tank. As it is a confined space breathing apparatus had to be worn because of fumes. Ken went inside and I did emergency cover on top in case anything happened to Ken.

As you can see a very dark and messy place, but hopefully with the pipe work I did and cleaning the tanks out we won't have any more problems with the generators

Hot Tub

The hot tub is now finished and in use.
Ken and I tested it out and gave it the thumbs up.
It felt so good to float as there are only showers here it was so relaxing.
Matt B and Tristan were in it with home made snorkels.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pancake Ice

It is a sure sign the temperature is dropping when the sea begins to freeze.
This type of ice formation is called pancake ice which then freezes together into pack ice.