ANTARCTIC BLOG: Changing of the seasons

20 November, 2015 Halley

It almost seems like yesterday that the Halley winter team was celebrating the beginning of our joint adventure. Nearly 8 months later, the first aircraft of the season came across from Rothera bringing fresh fruit, fresh faces and the start of a fresh new season. How the time has flown!

I think it safe to say that a good portion of us were a little nervous to see aircraft and summer staff return to Halley, luckily the first arrivals sweetened the big day with a delivery of fresh food and a large bag of mail.

We’re now over a week into this summer season, with us all settling into our new routines and preparing for the busy few months ahead. It will be an exciting season at Halley with lots of science and building maintenance taking place. There will be an aero survey project with a planned 100hours flying time based here, followed by field science and depot maintenance projects through January. The Estates team are also planning to isolate the various elements of the station heating system, improving the resilience of the building infrastructure.

Low sun over Halley VI Research Station
Low sun over Halley VI Research Station

There will also be 3 ships calls this season, seeing a huge amount of cargo being delivered to Halley for various projects. We’ve shared the most incredible experiences, ranging from breath-taking displays of the Aurora Australis through to tears of joy induced by encounters with one of the most charismatic and endearing of nature’s creatures – I am of course referring to Emperor Penguins and their chicks.

The team faced the challenges of Antarctica with a smile, made the most of the great times and supported each other throughout.

Penguins as far as the eye can see!

I for one am very proud to have wintered at Halley, even more so with the great group of people I had the pleasure of living and working with. Now, with the biggest part of the wintering challenge behind us, we are charged with handing our knowledge on to the next group of winterers who will begin their very own Halley adventure in around 4 months.