Saturday, 31 December 2011

What a relief

Our ship, the Ernest Shackleton, arrived on Boxing day; bring with it all the cargo, food and fuel for the year, and some more staff too. The ship moors up in a creek against the seaice from where the cargo can be dragged up on the iceshelf.

Below is a stock BAS photo that gives a better idea of the creeks.

When I first came to Halley many years ago, relief involved much manual handling and manpower but now big machines do all the hardwork. The cargo is craned onto a sledge at one end, pulled by CAT Challengers or John Deere tractors to the other where it is unloaded by crane. It is about 30km from the coast to the Halley VI site. Here is a CAT Challenger pulling 3 fully loaded containers.

The cargo is laid out in a long line at the Halley VI site so that each dept can find their boxes.

One item off the ship that is eagerly anticipated is fresh fruit and vegetables. Its only been 4 weeks since my last fresh fruit but that first Orange tasted really good, for the winterers (that's the people that are on a 15 month tour) this will be their first fresh fruit for nearly 10 months.


  1. Happy New Year Mike! Hope you're managing to stay out of trouble, and aren't too hungover....!
    Mike M.

  2. I know the experience to live in Antarctica. I have spent 65 days in Antarctica for project. I have suffered a lot regarding fresh foods/fruits. I have compromised with my foods when i was in Antarctica. Glad to see above pictures in which cargo is laid out in a long line.