Excuse the Game of Thrones reference but winter is really coming for us here at Halley. (Actually it’s here now but as ever I’m posting stuff that happened a week or more ago)
This morning we went down to the mooring point at the coast to wave the RSS Ernest Shackleton off, along with its passengers – the folk we have spent the summer season with, working and living together. It was a strange moment. Waving goodbye to the friends you have made. Some of whom you may not see again, others you will see next season. It’s sad – there’s quite a few of them I’m going to really miss, but at the same time it’s also exciting (not to mention worrying) to know that you are now left alone with your winter team, to live and work together for the next year, isolated on the Brunt ice shelf at Halley 6.
Photos by Kevin Hallam.
We drove down at 6am in a snow-cat for the 3 hour drive to the coast, managed to get a few goodbye hugs and then watched, waved and let off some flares as the ship pulled away and sailed off into the distance. I hope that everyone on board has a great journey back to the Falklands and finally the U.K, U.S. and other home destinations. About half an hour later and we began another bouncy and uncomfortable drive back up to base to begin getting ready for the long winter. Closing down the summer accommodation, scrubbing out the modules and generally cleaning the house before the weather turns colder.
There are a few more planes due to come and go from Halley over the next few weeks but watching the Shack disappear was a big moment. Well worth the 6 hour drive!