Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th January – getting ready to depart Halley

There’s a cold breeze today and no major structural work on-going apart from communications caboose. I carried out a visual inspection of the Trelleborg inside and out, looked at the bridge pinned connections and wrote up the last section of the inspection report.

Thursday 26th January

Another cold morning with a breeze again – It’s certainly feeling like the end of the summer season weather wise. I intended to raise the snow berms to H1 and H2 but lifting frame is too low, so until the vehicles have raised the general  snow levels we will need to delay this final snow packing.

Nevertheless, we did manage to lower the E2 berms to legs 3 and 4, it was hard work but we got the leg pins in place. The skis require very little bearing area in the short-term so any peaks held the ski high despite our efforts.  However through a few cycles of lifting the legs we were able to knock these peaks away and achieve the leg extensions to engage the pins.

We were told at today’s situation report that the Twin Otter aircraft is coming tomorrow and that I will be on it with five others. So I had to crack on and pack in preparation. Speaking to the team, the trip across to Rothera is via two bases called the Three Ronnie’s and Fossil Bluff and is great although there is a risk of getting stuck at these remote bases if the weather quickly changes.

We had few drinks in the temporary camp and at around 10pm went to take what could have been my last photos and video of the modules. When I arrived in module A, the team had been looking for me as they were having a bit of a party. It feels now like the end has come about very quickly – but I understand that this is quite usual towards the end of a season.  More of ‘Hurry up and wait’ and lots of flexibility required as you are advised of fast moving changes.

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