31 January, 2005 Rothera
January started with a bang for some of the station members as they took part in a 10km New Years Day run on the runway organised by Munki.
The start of January saw the loss of some key station members, including the Sky News team. Some were only temporary, Steve Marshal and Pat fielder the Base Commander and Facilities Manager were leaving us for three weeks. But the month did bring some eagerly awaited visitors, not least the JCR which managed to steam down here with no problems on its second attempt, in stark contrast to the first attempt in December. Finally everyone had their science gear, their spare parts for machines, and most importantly for the coming winterers, their personal boxes. A three day stay saw an incredible amount of work done on station to complete relief. The Bonner scientists worked long hours to take advantage of the JCR’s visit to get all the science objectives met out in Ryder Bay. We said goodbye to the JCR with the traditional snowball fight. It had snowed all three days that she had been in which meant that the Captain on the highest deck had a lot of ammunition and a distinct height advantage over the Rothera folk on the wharf.
The other ship visit was from the Gould carrying a group of American scientists. We organised a football match, Rothera vs Gould, which is becoming a regular fixture. Rothera retained the trophy winning 2-0 in a closely fought match. Then it was on to yet another incredible Issy and Cyril feast, a party hosted in the sledge store, and another chance for the musical talent of Rothera to show itself to the outside world.
The other big night of the month was Burn’s night, complete with piping in of the haggis and all the pomp and ceremony that comes with it. Hamish and Cyril gave us renditions of their own poetry, Scotty addressed the lasses of Rothera, with Kat replying for us. We then danced to our own ceilidh band in the form of Aiden on fiddle and Phil Anderson on guitar, with Andy Boat calling the steps.
January wasn’t all parties though. The air unit worked very hard supporting our own field parties, and looking after the visiting planes, the German Dorniers and South African Baslers. Catrin Thomas left Rothera to meet Enduranceto take her to the north of the peninsula to start the final sledge party – Lima, a geology project up on Joinville island with Teal Riley, and sledge Bravo headed off south away from base. Now that the JCR had reached us scientists and technical services had to work hard to make up for lost time. On top of all that we staged a major incident scenario practice with the whole station involved. The incident tested the response to a major fire situation, multiple casualties and evacuation. Many thanks go to Scotty, Adam, Andy Clark, Vacant and Kev for being the casualties.
Boats play a major part in the life of Rothera, both big and small, and here are some of them…