So, after three tent-bound days (I finished reading Anna Karenina!), plus one further day of digging out sledges and skidoos, we finally set off for Camp C yesterday. After a 6:30 am rise we were finally ready to set off just before noon. Initially, the low cloud and drifting snow meant that it was like travelling inside a ping pong ball, but when the sun came out, the surface sparkled like diamonds, and we could enjoy the ride. Heading west, away from the mountains of the peninsula and towards the ocean, we travelled for over eight hours.
We stopped every few kilometers because we were collecting radar data and needed to check the system was working properly. The regular five minute stops allowed those of us sharing skidoos to stretch our legs, but sometimes also made it difficult to get the heavy loads moving again in the deep soft snow that had fallen over the last few days. By the time we arrived at our destination the ‘doos’ were beginning to overheat.
On arrival the main priority was putting up the tents and getting a brew on—Al just about making the 9 pm ‘sched’—the regular VHF radio call to Rothera. The calls let base know that we are okay, and we can get a weather forecast and some news updates. Bed was very welcome.
Today was spent organising camp, fetching some kit that had been depoted twelve kilometers away, and Dave visited last year’s drill site to download some temperature data. Although we are camping at the same geographic location as last year, the flow of the ice shelf means that last year’s site is now a few hundred metres closer to the ocean.
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