Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arrived at Concordia

Fuel drums in the middle of nowhere, and a hand-pump: all that is needed to keep a Twin Otter flying!

We left Hobart early this morning (by early, I mean 2:30 am!) under a star-studded sky, the last such sky we shall see in months. Orion was particularly low and bright, and seemed to be sending us on our way. The first leg of today's flying took us to Wilkins Airfield, near Casey station, in the AAD's A319 : a flight of pure comfort and luxury! We then had a few minutes to walk around on the ice runway, before being shepherded onto the Twin Otter that was to take us to Concordia.

About an hour into what was billed as a 4 1/2 hour flight, we were right back on the Antarctic coast. The winds had picked up, which meant we did not have enough fuel to get us to Concordia in one hop. We therefore took a detour via a fuel depo, the yellow and orange 200l drums of kerosene visible in the photograph. Three drums and a hand pump were all that were necessary to top up the Twin Otter. Five hours of noisy, cramped flying later, we swooped out of the sky onto the runway at Concordia, and were greeted by a large and friendly welcoming party.

So, Concordia at last! It hasn't changed a bit since last year. Many of the same people are here, and the atmosphere is friendly and festive. Today was dedicated to greeting old friends and getting settled. The real work will start tomorrow morning...

1 comment:

Bellapicture said...

Nice to read you here ! Hope you will have a nice journey and be abble to complete everything you want there !
I'll be be your fidel reader and I'll have pleasure to watch your pictures