Barely two weeks after the devastating news that there would be no wintering at Halley in 2017, we were told that we will be picked up by the ship the next day (28th January). We spent the afternoon packing and had a mini Burn’s night dinner before some of us left to go to the 6A site to see the modules one last time and say goodbye.
Surely enough the next day we managed to send off the last weather balloon, have a steak and beer lunch and say our farewells to the rest of the wintering team before we left in the snocat to meet the ship, this time waiting at creek 8. The night before her moorings had broken loose, so she was just using thrusters to stay close to the edge. We all got our bags and rooms sorted before heading up to the monkey deck to wave the few people left on the ice goodbye. For a while we watched the creeks go by until the ship headed out to sea.
Currently we’re stuck between some ice floes, but the general idea is to head to the three Ronnies’ depot to unload some fuel and more PBs. Once finished we’ll be off to Neumayer, the German station, followed by another quick visit to Halley to take on the last few PAX and cargo before making our way out to Stanley via Signy. If we follow this plan then we are scheduled to arrive in Stanley in 6 weeks. After two days of nibbling away at the edge of the ice floes I have a feeling we might cut a few trips short, as I don’t think they can afford to feed 40 extra people with nothing to do for 6 weeks.