Sometimes down here we can’t enjoy celebrations on the same day our friends and family do back home. Holidays can occasionally clash with operational requirements and we need to postpone our festivities. A very recent example of this was our need to postpone Christmas due to the continuation of our annual resupply.
Resupply for us this year began on December 17 and concluded at midnight on December 25. Incoming cargo of some 344 tonnes and Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) fuel of just under 1 million litres will keep the station well supplied for the next 12 months. Last but not least on the resupply objectives list was to reload the ship with some 291 tonnes of cargo to be sent back to Australia. Early on Boxing Day morning the anchor was pulled up and Au Revoir to the Aurora Australis!
The nature of a resupply means that you can’t be really sure when it’s going to finish up so to give the chefs enough time to prep for a Christmas feast it was decided we would combine our Christmas and New Year celebrations on December 31. We also figured this would give Santa and his reindeer a bit of a rest before heading back our way.
We had a delicious brunch before word got out that the jolly big man was coming at about 11 am. Santa’s ‘nice’ list was overflowing judging by the number of presents under the tree and apparently some here are nicer than others based on the big hauls of some expeditioners.
The one thing on most people’s minds wasn’t the presents, it was thought of family and friends back home. The support and understanding of our loved ones is what enables us to do what we do down here, so here’s a toast to all of you keeping the home fires burning and supporting us in our passion for Antarctica.
After the excitement of the presents some retired to rest up, others got busy setting the tables and decorations in the mess to attempt to match the herculean effort shown by our three chefs to produce an amazing feast for more than 80 people.
At the end of way too much food and conversation, Christmas was done and we went straight in to New Year’s Eve and the “Cheezy Nightclub”, which was set up in the wallow area.
DJ Stu kept the party tracks spinning until the early hours, with the obligatory count down at midnight but minus the allegedly obligatory “Auld Lang Syne”. Getting through Christmas and New Year’s Eve in one day certainly has some merit.
Happy new year to all.
Brendan, Engineering Services Supervisor