From Rothera to Rotherham

 

El-Chalten

A Patagonian selfie

As promised, a final post from me.  I have now been back at home for a couple of weeks after a brilliant trip through South America with Bucko.  I am making good progress on sorting my life out and have found a flat to rent in Sheffield and bought a car.   I start work back in Rotherham again in May returning to my anaesthetic training.

It would appear that not too much has changed whilst I’ve been away and to be honest it  feels like my time at Rothera was a bit of a dream.  As well as moving in with Bucko, there are plenty of plans to catch up with my Rothera friends in the near future so the dream lives on in some ways!  As a final signing off here is a link to a 5 minute film I have made summing up all the best bits of living down South. Enjoy, Rose.

 

Rothera – a montage

 

Leaving Rothera

Rothera

This is just a quick post to say that sadly my time at Rothera is up and I leave on the Dash-7 tomorrow.  The last few days have been full of sorting, packing, and socialising in the bar.  I, amazingly, will be bringing more back with me than I came with for which I blame the hours spent in the chippy shed – it is all being shipped back so I will be reunited with my belongings in May when the Shackleton returns to the UK. 

I am off on holiday for the next three weeks visiting Chile, Argentian and Uruguay with Bucko so it is not quite time for me to return home yet.  I can’t wait to see my family again and meet my nephew, Henry.  I am also looking forward to the everyday things that I haven’t been able to do for sixteen months like drive a car, order food from a menu and see some greenery!  However, as I am sure you can imagine, it will be hard to say goodbye to such an amazing place having spent all this time here and had the experiences that I have.  Thanks for the interest you have shown in my blog and the messages that have been sent along the way.   I am sure that I will do a final post once back home so it’s not quite all from me…

Brenneke

Otter-at-Brenneke

I have just returned from a great nine-day stint at Fossil Bluff – a really treat to be able to have a second spell there.  The Twin Otter flight that took me there also had some science work to do on the way to Fossil Bluff, so as an unexpected bonus I got to tag along for the day to Brenneke – a GPS site amongst the Brenneke Nunnataks further down the Peninsula.   I went with Mark (pilot), Matt (electronics engineer) and Joe (plumber).

It really is a surreal experience, flying over pristine white landscape and then seeing a set of science instruments in the middle of nowhere.

Brenneke

Brenneke

Work-at-Brenneke

Part of the days task was to install a new wind turbine which involved drilling it’s base into the exposed rock.  The last turbine had blown away in the strong winds so even more bolts were put in this time!

Fitting-the-turbine

The stand for the new turbine

The-turbine-installed

The new wind turbine

After about four hours at the site, the work was done and we hopped over to Fossil Bluff to pick up some fuel and drop me off.

A winter tapestry

It has only taken me ten months… but I have finally finished a tapestry that I started just before winter last year.  I have been doing a little bit each day during the lunch hour whilst sitting upstairs on the sofas chatting.    Tapestry1 Tapestry2 Tapestry3 Tapestry4 

Tapestry5

The map in the middle shows Rothera and the South Pole marked in red as well as the Trans Antarctic mountains and Mount Vinson.  The ice shelves are in grey.

Not one to neglect accurate detail, the waves were done in a clockwise direction to represent the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (except for the counter-clockwise gyres found in the Ross Sea and Weddell Sea) – what a geek. 

Around the outside are all the winterers initials with four Southern hemisphere star constellations as well. 

There are some small patches unfinished where I ran out of wool – they will have to wait until I get home to match the right colour.  

I am embarrassed to say that I managed to injury myself twice during the making of this – both needle injuries.  Once was a thumb injury and more amusingly to those sat with me at the time was when I drew blood by accidently poking myself in the chin with the needle!

Wildlife corner (no.5)

Wildlife corner (no.5) featuring never seen on this blog before pictures of Orcas, Blue-eyed shags and swimming penguins.

Firstly, the Orcas:

We had a couple of days in January where a pod came to swim around the bay on consecutive days.  I missed them the first day but was sure to be there with my camera on the next. 

Orcas

The boats already in the water were treated to an amazing view of them and as they drove out to their science sites, the whales followed.

Orca-and-the-boats

Recently I have been putting my competent crew training into use and helping shuttle scientists over the nearby islands.  This has given me the chance to see local landmarks that I haven’t seen before.  Shag Rock was one of these and it wasn’t hard to see why it was called Shag Rock.  The rock was covered in Blue-Eyed Shags and it was only when I looked at my photos afterwards that I realised half of them were brown baby Shags.

Blue-eyed-shags

 

Blue-eyed-shag

Finally, as a result of the recent boat trips, I have also seen lots of swimming penguins.   They are very fast in water compared to the waddling that they do on land.  My first few attempts at trying to capture them on camera in the water looked like this.

Swimming-penguins

But finally I got one!

Swimming-penguin