Thursday, January 31, 2008

On holiday
Just a few quick snaps to give an idea of the things I'm up to. Went Paragliding over Cape Town yesterday. The real world continues to surprise and delight me (apart from the traffic jams!).
Wine (and cheese tasting). I went round the cheese tasting 3 times.

Sunset from the Lion's Head next to Table mountain. This is where I went paragliding too.

Never frozen cheese tastes oh so good.

A lovely refreshing break from the 43 degree heat that I could never even have imagined a month or two ago.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The joys of civilisation...

Here are a few picture from my first couple of days enjoying the pleasures of the real world. Words to come!

Crunchy fresh brocolli....oh so good

This cocktail actually contains fruit!

Haven't seen these in a long time but here I am demonstrating to my hardy Antarctic colleagues how to address a leaf

Been a while since I stood on one of these (a rock that is, and a mountain, for that matter)

The feel of grass, and we swam in the sea behind!

Salad=happy me

Exploring the paradise like botanical gardens. It was hot and green and everything. A bit too much excitement for one day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's getting hot out here...

It's strange feeling your hair blow in the wind after more than a year of hats and hoods. Every time I go outside I expect the cold to hit me but it doesn't. Even the wind feels hot and the sun at last is hot again!

Haven't taken a lot of photos lately, so here are a few from my last weeks at Halley that I never got round to publishing:

Fillin the melt tank on a windy day. You have to dig more snow to find the hole than you put down it!

Kirsty and Dave saying their final goodbyes to Milos, the system of weather instruments we've been using all year which we took down at the start of January in preparation for the move to Halley 6.

Pretty clouds

Classic weather balloon pose on a Sunday day, I'd been meaning to get this photo all year!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The little things you notice...

As I set sail from home without a care in the world, I had no clue what some of the little luxuries on board ship would mean to me after a year in Antarctic. Here are just a few of the things that I've come to appreciate:

  • Cheese that's never been frozen
  • Different types of cheese
  • Garlic cream cheese especially....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • Fresh milk (it's UHT but still 1000 times better than the powdered stuff)
  • Flora Magarine
  • Not having to turn the shower off in between washes
  • Decent sized mugs
  • Plently of tomato ketchup and diet coke
  • Soundproof walls
  • Fresh fruit (obviously)
  • Bottled beer, including ales and different lagers
  • Just needing a jumper to go outside

There are, of course, things which I miss about Halley life already:

  • Everything being free (except beer)
  • Never having to peel vegetables (they all came in tins!)
  • Most of friends (summer folk) and family (winterers)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Homeward bound at last!

The voyage north has begun. I left Halley on the 5th of Jan and have spent the past few days crashing and bashing through ice, back on board the big red taxi (aka RRS Ernest Shackleton) that brought me to the frozen land in the first place.

I hope you're not thinking " hooray, no more boring white pictures, perhaps we'll see people, colours and non frozen cheese products lining these pages from now on", alas you shall have to wait a little longer. Although nearly out of the ice, I have a 2 week voyage ahead of me, then three months of frollicking in foreign lands before I set foot back on British soil.

It is a gorgeous trip throught the sea ice, a fitting way indeed to end a stunning year in the ice. Us avid wildlife watchers onboard have seen penguins, seals and whales but ofcourse, I failed to capture them on film. Enjoy the photos, although it's hard to capture the big and small of it all...

The end of a big berg teeters on the point of collapse. Noone can resist getting up close for a good look!

Russian cargo ship the Amderma follows the Shack's tracks out of the ice. Strange to have company in such a lonely land.

Headed north - the sea ice gets thin but the ice bergs get bigger (go big or go home icebergs!)

The path opened up as we reverst to take another bash at a tricky patch

Can you spot the stripey annual layers of snow and ice on the, eh!

Shack shadow on the sea ice

Kissing dinosaur icebergs...or is it just me who see's that? A gorgeous evening as the sun puts its hat on at last and lights up the pressure ridges as far as the eye can see.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Posing with the Penguins

Had to be done...enough said.

It wasn't just me trying to blend in, although it has to be said that my thermos flask had a rather better disguise!