King Edward Point Diary – March 2003

31 March, 2003

A busy month

Another busy month here in South Georgia. Early March saw the departure of Molly Sheridan, Irene Valenkamp and Alasdair Reid. Irene and Alasdair have been assistants to Tim and Pauline Carr, for the last six months in the museum at Grytviken. I’m sure Tim and Pauline will miss their chat at smoko time, but both have ventured to new places and new jobs. Molly the artist arrived on South Georgia the same time as the new wintering team back in early December. Since that time she had us out on numerous sketching exercises and by the end of her time here she had accumulated a huge amount of excellent work, which I heard was a great success, at her exhibition in Stanley.

Now everyone on base wishes all three the best of luck with their next projects. Although three had left, we did have a new arrival off RRS Ernest Shackleton to increase the numbers again. Steve Hinde who has just spent a winter down at Halley as a field GA will be staying with us for a few weeks before he returns back to the UK.

During this past month Steve has given us a lot of good training on snow and ice. He took us up to Glacier Col where we roped up in pairs and headed towards the top. Checking for crevasses along the way, with our ice axes, we eventually reached the top and got a closer look at Mount Sugartop, covered slightly by cloud. After having lunch at the top Steve showed us different methods of setting up snow and ice anchors and on our way back down Glacier Col we found a crevasse where these methods would be tested.

On March 18th the fishing vessel Sigma was back in the bay dropping of a number of new faces, four from which were Morrison workers who would be doing a variety of jobs around base and two Norwegians who would be here for only six days. On their final night, one Norwegian showed us a tape from South Georgia in 1956, when whaling stations were in action. It was excellent footage and you got good insight, on what actually went on down here, in those days.

We have had the company of Gambo a boatload of climbers who were keen to make it to the top of Mount Paget, the highest mountain on the island, at approx 3,000 m high. Their first attempt came to an abrupt halt due to gusts of over 100 mph. The three that went for the second attempt were much more successful, although they didn’t make the summit they managed to get to 2,450 m, approximately 60 minutes away from the summit. They had been away for 8 days and were glad to be back, although they did have a KEP party to attend that night along with another boat ‘Pelagic’.

Frin, Suzi and Rich have been busy this month. They did catch a Toothfish approximately one metre in length.

Hi to my family and friends back home, see you all soon.