It was the first time Brett, Vas, Darren, Dave and myself had been able to get off station since the sea ice had opened. We were all very much looking forward to it, Darren maybe a little too much as when we were leaving station he bogged himself good and proper in the tide crack — in full view of Ali and Lesley watching the departure in the Living Quarters mess!
Departing after morning tea on Friday, the sun finally was high enough so we could see without the need for headlights. The five of us slowly made our way in the −23°C temperature to Bandits Hut, the most easterly field hut in the recreation area.
Only four bunks but with a bed on the floor made five. Vas supplied the ‘survival’ food for the journey and Dave supplied the new card game, which proved to take up much of our time as we relaxed. In the field the noises are only those you make yourself, no hum of generators, no footsteps past your bedroom door, only those we make.
It wasn’t all recreation though. We did have a couple of jobs we needed to do while out there. On Friday Dave checked the communications and an antenna needed to be replaced on the VHF radio. On Saturday we departed at first light to drill another section of sea ice for thickness to confirm a safe route for travel. It did get a little cooler out there at −25°C and the visors on our helmets were freezing. Traveling with them open became the only way to enable us to see, but it had its drawbacks as you can see in the pictures. On Sunday we arrived home for a well earned three minute shower!