GGS Antarctica 2009

Dec 16

Dispatch #11

Published at 16:30
Dispatch created from email
Good morning readers, friends and family,

All is well in the land of ice and snow, and the two boats are enjoying a
day away from the wind. Over the past three days we, those of us who
weren't busy building their igloo, have spent two sleeps in Damoy Hut;
busy working on the building's restorations.

While our fellow "intrepid explorers" were busy battling the cold, I,
along with Robbo, Nathan, both Ninas, Ben, Angie, Juan (Podorange's
first mate,) and Max, were setting to work on Damoy Hut. When we
arrived, the hut looked to be, from the outside, a shambles. Together we
set to the task; we scraped away the old paint, fixing rotten stairs,
nailing in hooks, and even a little decor work. By "nightfall"* (see
below) we had stripped all the flaky paint and even half fixed the
stairs, though we were still yet to drill in that 14th (detrimental I
might add) screw. That "night" we enjoyed the comforts that only a
ply-wood hut with no electricity can offer in Antarctica, cold. We sat
about the long table, watching our foggy breath, as we set into our meal
of canned mushrooms, chocolate and Argentinian beef. After that we were
eager to set into our bunks for a "night's" long rest.

The next day we were joined by our friends from the slopes. They had
spent their night freezing cold, though they would argue that, since the
igloo was melting around them, they were simply too hot; that said, no
one could deny that they would have enjoyed the warmth and stability of
the hut. Together we set to painting the freshly stripped hut. For most
of a morning and some of an afternoon we worked productively, but,
teenagers, and teachers, and explorers being what we are, we couldn't
help but notice the hill that- as Robbo well put it - would be "bloody
epic to toboggan down." The remainder of our day was spent getting
sopping wet on this particular hill, whether that had been through
tobogganing, snowball fighting, or attempting to roll a giant snowball
down the hill so that it quickly grew bigger, and bigger, it all had the
same affect and when we finally retired to the hut we all needed a
wringing out. We spent the "night" filled with laughter and warmth.

The next day we spent an hour of our time finishing off the first coat of
paint, not to mention putting in that last screw into the steps. Then
after we quickly cleaned up and made our way back to the boats.

Now we are spending our time out of the wind and enjoying the company of
each other.

the team.

*Of course when I use the term "nightfall" I use it in its loosest of
possible contexts. Any of those who have been to Antarctica would
understand that the continents summer was bereft of any form of true
"nighttime," instead I would associate the term with the time that the
sun sits on the horizon. Really it is a "nighttime" in a metaphorical

P.S - A few photos are on the way soon.

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