After a quick and efficient relief due to the many extra vehicle operators and mechanics employed for the move this year, all eyes turned to the modules, which had stood patiently already decommissioned well before the ship’s arrival. The south end was the starting point, as all the science containers had been moved out of the vehicle’s way, which had been groomed and cut through the Clean Air Sector turning east to head toward the new site 25 km away.
The iconic module H2 with upper obs, my office, on its roof was the guinea pig to test the new vehicles brought in for this season. After the build the modules were moved to the current site 6 with older Dozers which struggled to pull the 140 tons that each of the smaller blue modules weigh, let alone the 250 tons of the larger A module. The new setup consisted of a PistenBully followed by two D6N Dozers which having almost twice the horsepower of the older Dozers easily pulled the weight. Soon H2 was on its way heading off into the horizon at some 5.5 km/h. The module’s skis make impressive tracks to look out for as they are smooth as an ice rink.
After some delay and bad weather H1 was on its way across. It was a dingle day and we followed on an ace to take some drone footage. Next the bridge connecting E2 and E1, i.e. the two modules containing the generators and the now empty fuel tanks, went across and once assembled at the other site I even spotted them as a mirage early one morning.
A large crowd gathered to see A module leave the perimeter, but also bask in some rare sunshine.
The weather was not always as accommodating, but with the new confidence gained from moving the first few modules, C module was towed in blowing snow. The bedroom modules B1 and B2 went at the end, but instead of celebrating after B2, the last module, the atmosphere felt like a funeral. Earlier that afternoon we had received the news that there would be no wintering team at Halley in 2017. It is my belief that regardless of what else is going on, it is always important to celebrate accomplishments. In that spirit a few of us grabbed some bubbly and celebrated the achievement of completing the move in a record time back in the mess tent.