We've been busy people out here. First preparations for the New Year's feast, that ranged from lobster to snails to the traditional Italian "zampone e lenticchie". Then, on New Year's day, the arrival of the Raid, the convoy you can see in the photo above that comes 3 times every summer season to Concordia from Dumont d'Uvrille.
It takes the convoy 10 days to cover the 1100 km that separate us from the coast. It brings us most of the fuel, food, technical and scientific material needed to keep Concordia going for the whole year (a smaller amount of food and material comes in on semi-regular flights from either Dumont d'Urville or Mario Zucchelli bases).
As soon as the Raid arrives, Concordia transforms itself into a swarming ant-hill : its 80-odd ants (yes, this year we have reached a record : 84 people at Concordia!) unloading, transporting and reloading several tons of fuel and provisions... It would be utter chaos were it not almost second nature to the logistics people here, who keep the rest of us organized.
As I am hopeless at lifting and carrying stuff, I have posted myself in the kitchen for the past few days, in order to help our two overworked cooks, and one other volunteer, keep up with the extra "clients". Seriously tiring work, but the atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable...
The CASE-IPY project is advancing well. We now have 4 out of 5 stations completely tested, and the first three stations are packed up and ready to fly. The indications we currently have say we should start flying on January 8th... fingers crossed!!