Sunday, 21 January 2007

One of the reasons that the Princess came down to Rothera was to Bury a time capsule under this large rock which was filled with relevant articles placed in it by workers here at the base and is due to be dug up and opened in 2107. Don't think i need worry about seeing it opened again!
Myself and Tommy giving the Princess and her husband Admiral Tim Lawrence some pointers on skidoo driving before they went for a ride around up near Vals and Stork Bowl. They both thoroughly enjoyed this and even requested to drive the skidoo's all the way back down to the base.
Princess Anne on her first day at Rothera. Very pleasant lady and down to earth. Admiring the view from North Cove out into the bay.
Very crevassed area which the Princess and the Royal party viewed on one of their trips out on the Lynx Helicopters.
One of the two Lynx Helicopters which neatly fold up an fit into a hanger on the HMS Endurance

Monday, 15 January 2007

Happy Bithday to me!!

Well what a day! For my Birthday Jim and Bernard our boatmen promised me a nice little jolly on the boats with the ITN news crew who are currently down here filming for the news this week. After leaving the Wharf at 10 o clock we only got about 200 metres into Ryder bay when two Finn Whales came up right next to the boat. Bernard said he organised it especially but think he may have been pulling my leg. Anyway after we dropped them off at Anchorage island to do some filming we went over to Lagoon island for a coffee. Whilst there one of the boats seemed to be grounded as we could here it scraping the stones in the water. As we approached we soon realised that it was the presence of a huge one ton elephant seal which had jumped onto the side of the boat which was making it bottom out. Cheeky little thing. Anyway we managed to shoo it off then Bernard fed it a few biscuits and we filmed it for a while.
In the afternoon we took the ITN crew and Mike Austin out on the boats to film some icebergs and some seals. As we floated past one iceberg a massive piece collapsed and for any of you watching the news tonight you would have seen exactly what happened. Myself and Jim were in another boat and were a little closer than the camera crew. In all the excitement i happened to get a little wet and unfortunately the camera is now unusable so apologies if there are no photos appearing until i can get it replaced.
To finish off the day i went up to Vals in order to rescue and fix a Skidoo before returning for dinner to find Cyril our French Chef had baked a Birthday cake and brought it out to me with candles burning and everyone on base singing Happy Birthday. Later i watched a film with a friend and then Dash 7 landed with Princess Anne on it who has been around the base today having a tour and speaking to some of the 2006 winterers.
'Perfect day in Antarctica'.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

The base snowcat feeling a bit down in the dumps after melting a bearing in the gearbox. It just squeeked and then stoped! Aparently!!!! Ummm!!!! Biterly cold working under this machine at -5. However after a day or two we had the beast running again and serviced ready for the Royal visit. When Princess Anne will spend a few days here at Rothera on the 15th. The day after my birthday. Hope she brings a present for me.
We eventually got the slipway into place after much rearrangement and foul language!! The boatman is very pleased with our handy work and can now launch and retrive his boats with ease.
Tommy V and myself in the sledge. Part of the RAC (Rothera Automobile Club) on the way back from a breakdown.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Ahhh how cute. Quick someone throw it a ball!!
Pull my finger Jim and I'll show you what happens!!
New years eve was an amazing night. The band had very little time to rehearse but did a fabulous job of entertaining us all.
Work goes on for us busy mechanics. Fitting the slipway, which will enable the boatman to launch his boats into the water with ease. It has to be removed at the start of each winter as the sea ice is that powerful that it would just rip it out of the wharf and take it out to sea.
Two Adelie penguins not impressed after i rudely woke them from a short nap next to the runway this evening.
Allison in one of the many boats waiting for a lift by Bernard our current boatman whom Jim will take over from. On the top of the Wharf are Jim and Helen one of the Marine Biologists.
Football over at the aircraft hanger is quite popular on a Thursday evening. For the fitness enthusiasts, that is.
Stephen and Adam. Rocky Balboa eat your heart out!!!!!