I’m typing this up with less than 36 hours left on the island. By the time I’ve published it I’ll probably be at sea making my way to the Falkland Islands.
June is a pivotal month in the Antarctic as it marks the end of the gathering darkness with the winter solstice. June 21 is the shortest day of the year and is celebrated throughout Antarctica. BAS bases traditionally take a weeks holiday around this time and KEP is no different. Though the fishing season normally kicks off around mid-June so our week is normally interrupted with trips out to take the Government Officers for inspections and fishing license issuing.
Several months before Midwinter we all drew names out of hat, like a secret santa, to determine who we would be making a Midwinter present for. This can be a daunting prospect as the presents are often very impressive and the result of many hours of work. Coming up with the right idea can be the trickiest part. Some people are easier to make presents for than others, depending on their interests. I had an idea for my present early in the season and I was happy it would have worked for anyone I might draw.
We have an old veterinary X-ray machine on base. Part of the ‘Doc School’ training with the advanced first aiders is to help develop them in the dark room – I did say it was old! Apparently we are getting a new digital one next year. Anyway, due to the radiation it’s not advisable to X-ray body parts unnecessarily. So things made of metal are good to practice on, partly because the results can be quite cool! This was one of the first X-rays I took. It’s the binoculars that normally sit on my windowsill. The white/clear parts are the glass elements.
Ok folks, I have to run. I don’t know whether I’ll be down here again later this year or not. It’s a strange situation to be in to be honest. I’ve packed a big box of my stuff that will go out on the ship in April as it heads to the UK and should be able to pick it up in a year’s time. Or I might be unpacking it later in the year. If not I’ll have to find somewhere else to swan around…