30 June, 2012 Halley
The darkest month of the year and important mid-winter celebration for all the people in Antarctica is what June is all about here in the South. The sun is below horizon but some light is visible on the northern horizon. Here at Halley, we are lucky to celebrate the mid- winter in new Halley VI station, and to be the first ones to do so. June is the month, which most of the winterers are looking forward and it is the highlight of the winter.
This year we got a special event at the beginning of the month as the Queen was celebrating her Jubilee. We had Mad Hatters tea party like in, Alice in the Wonderland, in celebration of the Queen. We were playing some cricket and crocket underneath of modules outside when it was blowing. It was nice start of the month and small break from work and making mid-winter presents. For Field Assistant, like me, June is quiet but nicely dark month when I am fixing and repairing field gear for next season. It is a time to enjoy base life in the new station, and enjoy being part of our nice wintering team and to have fun in darkest time of the year.
June is all about one week. Mid-winters week started by cleaning and tidy up station modules for our Christmas. The pool competition final was the start of our mid-winters week. Paddy and Ian were playing well but Paddy was little better than Ian. So, Paddy is the first Halley VI Mid-winter pool champion.
For every mid-winters week day we had some kind of activities to do. We had fun time sledging, shooting flares and having good a time outside. One day we were playing board games, like the Top Gear game and Battle of Sexes. Whisky night let the whisky lovers enjoy the different tastes of whiskies and cheeses. Murder and mystery, the Spice of Death, was played same time with evening meal and every one was dressed as characters demanded. At the end of meal, the murderer was found. Between activities everybody had enough time to chill out and finish their mid- winter presents. Our dear Met Baby Sam Burrell was entertaining us by playing guitar and singing songs. He is really amazing player and we all liked his show. Thanks Sam! Crazy golf was played inside Halley VI, a night before mid-winters day. Many funny golf holes and trails were laid out around Halley modules.
Mid-winter day started when our Base Commander, Paddy, served breakfast for everyone, how thet wanted it. The day was not the coldest day during this winter but because of mid-winter celebration, we decided to go running around the station naked. Previously, it has been done around the Laws building in Halley V but because we are Halley VI team and base building is longer than the old Laws platform we ran longer distance. We girls, Doc Caz and I, did it twice. The mid-winters meal was one of the highlight of the day. We dressed up and took first mid-winter team photo in Halley VI.
Ant the Chef, made a 15 course meal for us. Here it is:
Thanks for the mid-winters meal, Ant!
For most of the team the highlight of the day was definitely the mid-winter presents! Everybody was excited and could not wait to open their presents.
All the presents were amazing and lot of hours had been put into them. Some of us had nice interview about living in Antarctica with the BBC world service to do. In the evening we all listened to the BBC world service mid-winter broadcast to all BAS stations. Thanks for all the greetings!
The last thing in mid winters day was watching The Thing (old version) in evening and chilling out in bar area. The movie has been a long standing tradition in BAS stations on mid-winters day.
The day after mid-winters day was for chilling out and movies. The last thing on in mid winters week was the traditional Pub Crawl. We started in upper obs and walked all the way to perimeter, to a big snow cave.
After enjoying nice atmosphere in the cave we moved to a two-man pyramid tent before going to the Garage. Milky Way and stars were visible to us and we spent lots of time laying on snow and watching the southern sky. Some shooting stars were on the sky when we moved from cozy Pub Drewry back to base. Really realizing that we are in Antarctica and very happy about it. Everybody seemed to enjoying their nice relaxing mid- winters week.
End of the month was about settling back to work and normal base duties. Now, team Halley VI starts to wait for sun up and getting back to outside work.
Greetings from Halley VI! Paljon terveisia! Hilsen fra Halley!