Monday, May 07, 2012

Rothera, Antarctica

In the Comms Tower. This is where all the official comms (including air traffic control) takes place. It's the orange tower shown in this post, overlooking the runway. In a major incident, this is also where all the base officials muster. There is a big red button at the centre of the front panel labelled Crash Alarm, which takes a lot of will power not to press. This is also where Tom and I go to do our weather observations, as it gives us a good view of the sky and the surrounding area.

During the winter we have radio scheds every evening with all the winter trip parties. There are a few formalities we have to cover during the sched ('What is your location?', 'What have you done today?', 'Are you both safe and well and is your CO monitor working?', 'What are your plans for tomorrow?'). After that we usually have a few minutes to chat and exchange news. I've also been trying to give a weather forecast for the next few days, with varying success. 

Today, we had a particularly special sched. San Martin (the Argentinean base on the mainland, just across Marguerite bay) got in touch with us. We chatted to them for almost an hour, comparing bases, life styles and wintering traditions. There are 24 people wintering at San Martin, all men, and all except four of them with wives and children at home. This is Phil and Mairi (front), Tom and Dr Rob Doc (middle) and George and Adam (background, with George talking to San Martin). It was fantastic to chat with our wintering neighbours.

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