[ I N D E X ]

May


By Douglas Colliar (SHARE Engineer)

Halley Winterers 2002 Halley group photo in the bar:
Back Row: Douglas Colliar, Paul Sharp, Mark Stewart, Stuart Macmillan, Kevan White, Duncan Cameron, Lyndsey Bishop, Steve Hinde, Ben Norrish, hiding behind Steve is camera-shy Andy McConnachie.
On the bar: Jon Seddon
Front Row: Mark Ryan, Cathy Moore, Elaine Cowie, Annette Faux, Mickey Hazell

Itís been our first full month without the sun which has made for some spectacular twilight on the horizon as the sun defiantly stays out of view, for many on base and indeed throughout the Arctic as well as Antarctic it is a time when sleep patterns can easily go wrong as the human body needs sunlight to regulate our body clock. This lack of sunlight has prompted an increased use of "light-boxes" which give us a blast of UV light which helps sort our body clocks, sort of like a mini sunbed without the tan.

Laws Platform by Twilight The darkness has some plus points as well. The picture on the left shows the Laws platform shortly after lunch, thatís about as much light as we get at the moment, it's enough to find your way around without a torch for a couple of hours per day as well as making good photo opportunities on clear days.

May also saw some fantastic aurora with the nightwatchman (or woman) keeping a list of people who want to get woken up to see this spectacular show of dancing lights, as the winter goes on this list is gradually becoming shorter and shorter as more and more people who value their sleep and being outside for -35°C or so standing still saying things like 'ooh' and 'aah' trying hard to take pictures to capture the moment, it's worth every second outside and pictures just cannot capture the majesty and the movement in aurora though we do try our best, getting stunning aurora shots lets you take some of the magic with you. Aurora at 0200 by Douglas Colliar

Aurora at 0200 by Douglas Colliar Being 'stuck' on a base for several months of the year can be a bit repetitive and one way we have to break the routine is a visit to the cabooses, which are insulated huts on skis and definitely more comfortable than staying in tents. All three of the cabooses are now out with two at the coast, one at Windy Creek which is an emperor penguin colony and one at Creek 5 which is one of the 'Gin-bottle' creeks often used for relief, these are good for a weekend off base or, if the weather turns, several days off base. Paul and Duncan have been out to Windy and there are many penguins already there as this is their mating season. We are all looking forward to visiting there in August once the sun comes up. Wonky caboose is placed just outside the base perimeter (it's 1km out from base hence the name, there is nothing wrong with the caboose!).

Midwinter is coming up next month and following Antarctic tradition we are all busy making presents for one another, which always seems to take longer than you think it will leaving the (also traditional) mad rush the week before midwinter to get them finished. With only a couple of weeks left before midwinter a lot of free time is spent working on the presents to get them made. The midwinter haircuts have also begun with many on base (including myself) dying their hair blonde for the occasion.

May has been a quiet month in the bar with not having a themed party for almost the first time since the start of the winter, the residents made up for this with a Rocky Horror Picture Show party, inspired by a video choice by Jon, with all the expected events dressing up and doing the 'Timewarp'.

The weather this month has shown us just how much difference a day can make, one day the temperature is -44°C with a 5 knot breeze and the next its -10°C and blowing 40-50 knots, the strong wind blew away several centimeters of fresh snow revealing tracks and 'ghostly' footprints made a few weeks before as well as removing most of the rime and loose snow that has built up on cables and stairs.

Rocky Horror Party Stu in fine form for the Rocky Horror Party Rimed bottlescrews and the Piggott Platform

Our first month without the sun has passed in the blink of an eye, there only two more months left before the return of the sun which I hope are as much fun (we work hard as well of course!)


Hi to all the folks back home, Polo would love it here

Special hi to Joey, missing you loads xxx

Dougal Colliar