28 April, 2003 Rothera
As I’m sure everyone connected to BAS is aware, winter here at Rothera started a little later than usual this year. April the 15th proved to be long awaited by both the late summer staff and the winter staff. A very happy Greg (pilot) was gathering folk for the last journey North from Rothera this season, at 8am in the dining room. I appeared just before, with my freshly cut ‘Mohican’, giving everyone a good laugh before they departed. There were some tired and pained faces on the apron as the departing crew said their goodbyes to the eighteen left on base. Four winterers were already out on winter trips, and the last of the eighteen only just made it to the apron after a ‘Late’ night the night before. Ant Tuson was last onto the Dash 7 before its doors closed at around 8:30am.
The eighteen left on the Apron stood still and watched our last physical contact with civilisation start her engines. It was a dark morning, but everyone was in high spirits. We’d been waiting for this day for a while, and I know the people on the Dash were anxious to get back to their friends and families.
As The Dash 7 taxied to the runway, we all lined-up to wave our final goodbyes. It wasn’t long before it roared past us, and climbed into the air, with a cheer from us all. The pilots, Morrison’s, Technical services and not forgetting Brian Newham, were on their way home.
As the dash disappeared to the south, we heard from Ant over the radio that he was going to do a final pass to say goodbye for the winter. We all lined up, sipping champagne as the Dash flew back down the runway and we all said a last ‘memorable’ goodbye. Winter 2003 had begun.
Adam Thornhill – Met Man