Nous vous souhaitons une bonne année 2019 depuis l’Antarctique !

By Hugues Goosse

2018 ended for us with a snow storm that is now over. Fortunately, our tents resisted well and stay dry although the snow drift was relatively strong.

The visibility was reduced to a few meters in those ‘white out’ conditions. During the storm, Pierrick, the mechanics of the team, pushed the snow away with the snow tractor to avoid a too large accumulation in the camp but he had to use the GPS to avoid hiding the snow wall that protects us from the wind !

It is hard to give the feeling of the ‘white out’ from a pictures but it is the view we had from our camp. The slightly darker spots in the middle of the pictures are the skidoos, about 10 meters away

In those circumstances, the ice drillers can continue to work as they are protected by their tent but, for the other ones, that should make experiments outside it is totally impossible. We can help the driller when needed. Otherwise, we stay in our warm kitchen, analysing the data collected in the previous days and preparing the next measurements.

We could also had time available to prepare the new year celebration. Nevertheless, our options are very limited when we are more less forced to stay inside. Consequently, New Year ‘party’ was quite similar to the one for Christmas.

The containers with the kitchen and the bathroom during the storm 01Photo Nander Wever.

As we work now in shifts, we had a dinner/lunch at 12.00, eating a fondue with South African white wine. We enjoyed a quiet and relaxing moment!

In a previous post, I explained that we are mainly drinking meltwater in Antarctica, except in special circumstances. You probably noticed that each important step in the drilling processes is the opportunity of a small celebration.

New Year can also be considered as a special day so we share the drinks we brought from home. We had the choice between a sip of Japanese whisky, Chartreuse or Tasmanian and Canadian Gin.

The new year’s eve lunch/dinner. Photo Nander Wever

We will also all join in the drilling tent at midnight, stopping the drill for a moment to countdown the last seconds of 2018 ! This will be the opportunity to exchange our wishes for 2019 and have a toast to 2019.

Personally, I will take a small glass of Macallan Edition N°4, one of the nicest whisky I ever had, thanking my colleagues who offered it.

We wish you a happy and fruitful 2019!

The Mass2Ant Team.