A few expeditioners and I took advantage of the calm winds and clear skies and got off station on the weekend. Barry (B1), Barry (B2), Bryce and Richard all joined me on the quads as we made our way to Watts Hut for the night.
With temps pushing well below −25°C, it was pivotal to have all the riding gear up to scratch and working properly. As B2 found out, breaking his helmet’s heating visor a mere 500 metres from station. Riding at 30km/h (the Division’s speed limit) with your visor up in freezing temps isn’t the greatest of activities. But B2 reveled in it by the looks, not complaining once.
Once making it up Ellis Fjord to Watts Hut with time to spare we made our way onto Lake Druzhby, a fresh water lake that has frozen over the last few months. Giving us a breathtaking sight of crystal clear ice, with frozen bubbles in it and a master piece of cracks giving a surreal look into the frozen lake.
After a couple of hours taking numerous photos, I think B1 had taken 400+ at this point, we retired to the hut for some warmth and to get ready for the night time antics.
Once the afternoon twilight had completely gone and the moon had risen, we made our way back onto Lake Druzhby to set up an LED light. We drilled a hole in the ice and placed the light down into it. The ice lit up in a magic blue that spread for metres and metres, finding its way along the giant cracks in the ice. We were even lucky enough to get a slight aurora during all this, even a sneaky asteroid lit up the sky as it burnt up in the atmosphere.
After a great night we started our Sunday by spending nearly two hours trying to get out our quads to start as the engine oil doesn’t like such extreme temps. Once all the bikes were started we made our way to Crooked Lake for some more sightseeing, another spectacular day with great weather and scenery. We visited a few gorges and climbed a rather large hill to get a look at the plateau and the rest of the Vestfold Hills.
After making our way around most of Crooked Lake we made our way back to station, back to the warmth.
Shoey (Plumber and Balancing Technician)