Brief update

It’s a busy time again, as the summer season draws to a close.  At the coast, the weather is worsening steadily, although we are still having very pleasant weather at SANAE IV.  The warmer weather and rougher seas created some trouble at our bukta on the ice-shelf – our ramp has been declared unsafe due to the deteriorating ice conditions, and so we were forced to divert all cargo that couldn’t be flown onto the ship 300km overland to Neumayer’s loading area.  Most of the summer personnel have now been flown off, leaving only the winter team and a few other essential personnel at our base.  With all this action, I’ve had little time to write, but I have used the improved bandwidth to add some pictures to my article “Icebound,” under the SA Agulhas category.  As always, there’s more good stuff to come!  We’ve also got an updated telephone number at the base, so haul out your address-books jot this down:  +2721 405 9428.  Normal South African rates apply.  Our new fax line is +2721 405 9432.

A few days ago we were treated to out first sunset in months.  Although the sun only dipped behind the mountains for a few minutes, it is the first time we have seen it below the horizon since mid-December.  Each “night” it is gone for a little longer, but at midnight we still have as much light as a heavily overcast day back home.  It is harbringer, however, of the months of darkness that await us.

FirstSunset

First sunset – the peaks on the skyline are (left to right) Lorentzenpiggen, Grunehogna, Istind

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