Today has been the first full day of training. Have learnt how to use latest cutting edge technology such as Primus stoves (circa 1960) and how to put up a tent. I also overcame a huge phobia of mine, and managed to give a foam dummy an intramuscluar injection of Adrenaline. Turns out I am fine sticking needles in other people, just don’t like them in myself.
The base is steeped in history with pictures of men with beards and dogs everywhere. There is a whole family tree of all the sledge dogs and how they were bred. However, they stopped having dogs when they started having women here, so I guess men had to make a choice! There are also various military memorabilia on the walls.
I have just had my first ski, in mountaineering skis with skins. Learnt how to do all that, which is great. It’s been the most glorious weather, completely still and sunny. Everything is melting fast, but the sea is still frozen solid, and there is only a week before the ship is due to arrive. There is a surrealness to the icebergs laying frozen in the sea ice, and there is no clear boundary between the ice and the land. However, two people discovered exactly where it was by going in to deep snow up to their waste. The scientists have been out on the ice today to collect samples from ice holes. I saw one loan seal pop up and have a wonder around. No penguins yet.
The tagging in and out is a pain, and I forgot various parts of the procedure during today. I appreciate it is for safety, but the word “tag” does make it sound like a criminal on bail. Going between buildings (of which there are many) is an effort too, as each time we have to don boots, coats and sunglasses, even to cross a hundred yards to go to another block. I am carrying around clogs between the boot-rooms, but most people seem to just walk about in socks. This is probably why socks are in such high demand here.
The quietness, the stillness and the beauty all create an incredible tranquillity here, and I will definitely make more time to walk around a bit and not get caught constantly chatting, which is easily done, especially as I meet all the people for the first time.
I’m pretty tired tonight, as I was kept up all night by snoring and I really hope I can sleep tonight. The 24 hour light does not help; it is strange to wake up at 4am and have bright sun outside.
I’ve just taken delivery of 3 huge parcels. I can see my Dad’s hand in them. Before I open them I am going to check they are not for Christmas. The aircraft have been able to fly today and they are still ferrying people and equipment over. Also Internet has been good as the base is still quite quiet.
Thank you for all the messages! Going to upload some pictures now. Tomorrow is aircraft training, and Monday I will be camping out for the first time with BAS.