Halley Diary — August 2003

31 August, 2003 Halley

By Stuart Colley, Meteorologist

Without a doubt, the most important event this month has been the return of the Sun after 103 days. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve all been amazed at how light it was getting compared to the weeks either side of midwinter, even before sun-up. Sun-up was predicted to be on the 11th or 12th of August at about 13:45 GMT. Although the exact time/date of sunrise/sunset can be hard to predict since it is dependent on the amount of refraction (bending of light) in the Earths atmosphere, which in turn is dependent on temperature and pressure of the atmosphere. In the end, the sunrise was at about 12:45 GMT on the 11th. This was a bit earlier than expected since there was strong miraging and we were initially seeing a mirage of the Sun. There was, of course, a party and raising the flag ceremony on the return of the Sun. We had picked the 12th for our BBQ, party, and raising the flag. Following tradition here at Halley, it is the youngest person on base who gets the raise the flag, so for the second year running the honours fell to Elaine to perform this task. Typically, it was an overcast day and we never saw the Sun.

On the 16th of August we remembered the death of the King – Elvis – with an Elvis night. Our chef Craig, prepared some deep-fried bacon, peanut butter and jam sandwhiches for those of us brave enough to try them, everyone else opted for a somewhat healthier curry. Much Elvis music was played and our very own Elvis look-a-like, Tommo, dropped in for a cheeseburger.

Other events this month have included a series of cooking lessons from our chef, Craig, covering everything we need – or is worth knowing – in four lessons, with a ready, steady, cook style exam at the end. Lesson one was soups, stocks and sauces; the following week meat and fish was covered, whilst in lesson three we learnt about cooking fruit, vegetables & starches; and in the final lesson cheeses & desserts. The final exam is still to come though! Meanwhile, work on the inapropriately named Midwinter Magazine continues – sort of – with the aim of hopefully finishing it before the first plane arrives.

This month has also seen winter base commander Pat give Shiatsu lessons. Shiatsu literally means, “finger pressure” it is a form of bodywork, which encompasses the use of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Treatment is focused along specific Channels called Meridians of subtle bodily energy called Ki.

Well that’s what’s been happening this month. September’s diary will be written by Rob Shortman.

That’s it from me…..