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Jan 27 - Rothera at last!

Noon Position : lat 64 43.5 S, long 67 22.8 W

Bearing: 201°T, 839 Nm from Stanley, Falkland Islands

Air temperature @ noon today :  0.7 degrees C

Sea temperature @ noon today :  2.2 degrees C

Wind: Direction WSW, Force 3

This week in brief

Well, it's a little over a week and as a consequence we are again heading back to Stanley.  Since I last wrote we have been to Stanley, loaded cargo, whisked a few scientists on board, left for Rothera, arrived in Rothera (hurrah!), done some science in Marguerite Bay, unloaded cargo, picked up a few more scientists and are now once more heading back to Stanley!  Phew!  No wonder we're tired.

For those who like to know where we are there is a very good web-site showing our position using data from our meteorological reports.  For the link click here.
Thanks to Mike Gloistein and Dave Peck for that.

Rothera - at last!

On this approach to Rothera we hardly saw any sea-ice and after a quick trip south, we were soon undertaking the main relief for base.  Rather than writing about it, here are a few pictures from our two day visit.  Thanks to all the guys on the ship and on base who helped out.

View on approach to Rothera  The view on the approach to Rothera, photo L Handcock

Simon  Simon Morley has been on the JCR for 3 months, some 6 weeks longer than he anticipated.  He was pleased to reach Rothera!

Working cargo Loading cargo in the snow.

Rothera  Rothera Base and the JCR, view from the top of the ramp. Photo L Handcock

Bergs at Rothera  Ice-bergs in the bay.  Photo L Handcock

Rothera waste  Rubbish waiting to be taken out of Rothera.

Loading Single Otter into hold  Historic BAS Single Engine Otter being loaded for the first leg of its journey back to the UK for conservation.

Moorings in the Middle

Patience is a virtue – Laying Moorings in Marguerite Bay
Mark Brandon (The Open University)

It has taken seven years to get the equipment for this project in the water, but the last month has been the hardest. We first boarded the JCR in November and spent the month trying to stay calm about being stopped by the ice. When we headed north spirits sank. But when BAS Operations offered us another chance to try this year we leapt at it. The only sad thing was that not all of our team could make it the second time around and we left behind colleagues from the University of East Anglia, Southampton University and Oxford University. In their place we kidnapped a key BAS scientist to help fill in some of the gaps. The moorings went out like a dream and when we recover them next year I will write about what they have been doing.

Collecting mud Collecting mud with the box corer.

Moorings The moorings team concentrating hard.

Mud The mud team! Photo Andy Clarke

Playing in the Snow

Despite a very busy time, a few people were lucky enough to get out and play in the snow.  There was a little bit of sledging, skiing, walking and of course many snowball fights.

Mike on skidoo  Mike Gloistein our polar hero (he was awarded the Polar Medal this year) making the most of a lift up the hill on a skidoo. Photo L Handcock

Snowball fight Jeremy Robst putting the photo in peril (it missed).

Evil Dave So, they want to play at snowball fights, do they?!  Dave King about to launch the offensive.

On a slightly drier note, the table-tennis final provided much amusement and the cheerleaders were kept busy.  In the semi-finals Ziggy beat Lee and Andy beat Nick.  The final was a tense game but Andy Hirst beat off the competition to retain his title of champion.

And finally................Hello to Robbo from Simon, he's working hard in the galley and cooks a mean sticky toffee pudding!

Unless otherwise credited these photos were taken by Mark Brandon - many thanks!