Sunday, 14 December 2008

AGAP-North Bound

Having completed the acclimatisation at Ack camp we had our first survey flight to AGAP-South from South Pole. Ack camp involved us doing light work and been feed great food by our chef Dan and sometimes by our medic Mel. Day 3 of acclimatisation we installed mag and GPS base stations to make checking the data easier and reducing our reliance on other sources of data down the road.
South Pole Station

On the touristy front we had our pictures taken by the South Pole both the symbolic one and the geographical one. We saw the old South Pole base which is a Dome and looks quite futuristic rising out of the snow. The new one is a modern two story building on stilts quite different in terms of scale to everyone else’s bases here been twice the size of most countries main bases. Weather here is mostly around -30°C with either zero wind or up to 12 knots of wind.

The first survey flight into AGAP South was a bit of a long haul taking some 9-10 hours involving refuelling at AGAP South before the return, so took both our pilots to avoid pilot fatigue. Getting back after 10pm meant along night of radar processing and checking this is mostly automated but does involve the odd key push from time to time. First views of the Gamburtsev mountains beneath the ice were seen in the data. The next few days entails some more survey flying before we move to AGAP North which the Australians are currently setting up with the aid of one of our GA’s they are hard at work as they have 4 C17 airdrops to round up and a run way to groom.

AWI Basler turned up this morning to transfer cargo and personnel to AGAP-North.
AWI Basler with BAS Survey Twin Otter FBL


Mike said...

Nice to see all going well, all though hours are long and arduous. Well done to all and Happy Christmas.

Luce Antartica said...

Ciao Carl,

I am so happy to read that everything is going well....Thanks for the news! I watched Fausto's message from the Pole!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! Ciao