At 9am I jumped out of bed and met 10 people from the Shackleton at the bottom of the gangway for a walk up Duse. The cloud base was low with the summit covered from view. The usual straight up to the plateau by the time we were there we had lost 3 people from the group the excertion a bit much after the late night – I was up till 3am!
There was a thin coating of snow on the plateau but when we got into the gulley it was well iced up due to the thawing in the warm weather on Friday and refreezing as a coating of ice on all the rocks overnight. A little way up the gully we had another person bail out.
At the top of the gully on the way up the the summit is a tunnel. The rock that you scramble under is the one that Shackleton stood on for the famous Hurley photo. The weather was not very good for recreating that picture unfortunately!
MVT sitting on the photo point with cloud covering the view across to Gull Lake and Brown.
The group coming down the gully from the summit.
Finally below the clouds view down to base and Grytviken making our way back in time for the wedding
The wedding party outside the church – L to R The captain of the Shackleton, the best man, Jules (bride), Tim (groom), bridesmaid (Penny – dentist), father of the bride (not really). The bouquet was made out of charts using some niffty oragamy instructions off the web by the ex Halley Dr.
Robert the governmnet officer piped the couple in to the church with the bagpipes. Rob our BC played the fiddle while we sang the readings were done by the ships officers. Rob played the fiddle as the bride and groom exited the church followed by the ships officers ringing the bells. The couple left the church in the back of the rat eradication pick up truck with Diedre driving them back to base. The rings and the figurines on the top of the cake (made by Claire) were made by the ships engineers out of steel rod. Matt Holmes did a great job cooking on the BBQ and the ships 1st officer made a brazilian style fire pit to cook some of the meat which was delicious. Ken (rat team Dr) provided a vertitable feast of desserts with trifle, banofee pie, millionaires shortbread and cheese cake. The couple were married by the ships captain (John Harper) who started with BAS as an able bodied seaman many years ago.
At the party we realised we had four docters and a dentist on station – must have been one of the safest places to be in the world! From L to R – Claire (ex Rothera), Diedre (rat team Dr), Mike (ex Halley), Sam (current KEP).
Claire wanted to go for a swim so at dusk we went for a brief dip (I must admit to wading into my waist and not fully going in as I have already done this a few times!)
The sauna after our dip was very necessary
All to soon (midnight) it was time for the Shackleton to depart and all my friends from Rothera to leave me on the wharf like I did 12 months ago when I sailed away from them. I set off a handheld red flare and waved as they pulled away and also some pinpoint parachute flares. The ships horn sounded and they glided out of the bay on a perfectly still and cloudless night. I have to admit to crying as I watched them leave many close friends slipping away into the night onto their lives back at home. Finally time for bed…