0

Adventure to Halley

Hi there,

After my fantastic visit to the South Pole I soon got itchy feet again and I really wanted to go to the most southerly of the British Antarctic Survey stations – Halley. On this map you can see where the stations are:

bas map

Lots of people at Rothera would like to visit Halley (not quite as much as the South Pole, but nearly) so I had to hide in one of the Twin Otters to fly there:

halley1

When Bryony realised I was missing she guessed where I had got to. So she phoned up Nathalie, the doctor at Halley, to come and find me. Here I am at Halley:

halley2

That is a bit of joke, it isn’t really an airport, the planes have to land on an ice runway and not many can get this far south, it is not like Gatwick or Heathrow.

I spent a few days at Halley. There have been several different buildings over the decades. The problem here is that Halley is build on an ice shelf, with no solid land underneath. So it is constantly moving. It is also a lot more cold and windy down here, and so permanent, low buildings, like they have at Rothera, would soon be buried and lost. The new building at Halley VI is made up of several pods or modules built up on legs. The legs and pods can be moved and all the modules are joined together, so you don’t have to go outside if the weather is really bad. Over the last winter the snow built up around the legs, so now it is just the pods you can see. Here I am outside some of them:

halley3

Nathalie showed me all around the base. She has lots of jobs here. Here we are providing fire cover – not really like the fire engines in the UK:

halley4

I also had a go driving a skidoo myself:

halley5

One day I got to go out with one of the scientists. Halley is surrounded by just flat, white snow and ice, so it was nice to see a few mountains. This place is called mkrzysztofowicz! I am not sure how it got that name; maybe you could try and find out for me?

halley6

After meeting everyone at Halley, learning about their discovery of the hole in the ozone layer in the 1980’s, and seeing how remote they are, it was time to go back to Rothera. So I helped refuel the Twin Otter and I am now safely back with Bryony and Sid, keen to learn more about everything happening back here, let me know if there is anything about life and work in Antarctica that you would like to know more about.

halley7