Saturday, 1 March 2014

Fossil Bluff - base and planes

A transiting plane taking off from the skiway
Bluebell Cottage, Fossil Bluff.
Inside the cottage, water tank and sink. Warm water is from the kettle
Bunks, cooking and eating area
The radio area
Cooking and food area. There used to be an aga where the reflex stove now is
Remains of two muskegs - predecessors of skidoos but too heavy
Plane arriving for refuelling

Fossil Bluff is now a manned fuel depot about 200 miles south of Rothera. It was first occupied, including for several winters, as a base for geological fieldwork on Alexander Island and the Peninsula across the sound. Work for those staying (normally two or three people) is hourly weather obs for flying and refuelling planes passing through to or from further afield. The skiway is just some firm snow (unless it gets too warm, it has gone soft in summer some years), there are no vehicles to groom it.

Other than that there is some good walking and domestic cooking and cleaning jobs. There is a reflex stove that runs on the dregs from the barrels and a couple of primus stoves. Water is collected in gerry cans from the stream (a perhaps surprising thing to find at 71S)

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