Saturday, 3 December 2016

Day Three: Saturday 3 December

20 to midnight and still just as sunny outside.

We were very lucky with our AFT overnight. Other new people who arrived earlier in the season had to do their in temperatures of minus 20 or 30 degrees.
This morning we awoke to another fine day, got dressed, packed up our stuff, made cups of tea and packed up the tents.  This was when I spent about 20 frustrating minutes hunting for one glove (of the many pairs) that I couldn’t find – even though it was just me in the tent!  If I couldn’t find it, I’d have to report it because you can’t leave anything out in the environment, but finally – after searching several times through bags, sleep kit and all my cold weather gear - I found it tucked away inside one of my (many) hats.

We stamped down the snow trench and camp kitchen, so the Hagglunds wouldn’t fall into a hole, and just before we left for Scott Base, Mark took us over to the Square Frame. This is a container hut that base staff can book if they want some privacy, time out or a fun night out with a group of friends. It has a bunk room and was incredibly warm (so it can be used as an emergency shelter if needed for AFT).
We were back at base by about 9.30am, but of course that wasn’t all – sleep kits had to be draped over racks in the drying room, any uneaten packets of food put back in the food cupboards, dirty dishes washed and kitchen equipment put back in the kitchen room, rubbish disposed of, tents out away and the Hagglunds refuelled. We had to de-boot and get back into indoor clothes in time for a quick session debrief with Mark before morning tea. It was only 10am and once again it felt like the day had been packed full already.

The rest of the day: more meals. Lunch, afternoon tea, dinner (all delicious). Paul the tech guy connected me up to the internet, Trudie organised for Guy and  me to meet with the two science teams who are flying out tomorrow (weather permitting) to talk about what they’ve been doing. At 3.15pm everyone was in the canteen not just for afternoon tea but also for the weekly base meeting, followed by base tasks for volunteers. I volunteered to help tidy up the carrels room, where the dress ups are stored. (For dress up parties of course!) 
Inside after dinner, people were hanging out in the bar or catching up on emails in the computer rooms. Outside, people were kite surfing on the ice or going for walks on the marked tracks in their brightly coloured jackets. And now it’s midnight, and the sun is still shining…


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