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Life on the River Cam - at no more than four miles per hour!

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Seals, Ice and Videotape - an Antarctic vlog

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Helen wanted to build an igloo...

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..and lots of people helped!
28th Sep 2006, 23:51  


swamprose says:

Never seen graffiti on the outside of an igloo before, but go Helen.

Nice igloo. Even has the front part to keep out the cold.

will you be spending nights there? Igloos lit from within are stunning photo ops.

28th Sep 2006, 23:59

hildegard says:

Is she going to have to live in there now?

BTW - on the salad thing; is there absolutely nowhere you could put some tomatoes? Not even a couple of hanging baskets of cherry toms in the rafters of the most-used rooom, good & close to the fluorescents?
You must be sprouting seeds & grains though, yes? Reassure me here...

29th Sep 2006, 00:01

michaelpj says:

Helen and Ags spent the night in the igloo just after it was built, and woke up covered in two inches of snow (that was before they'd built the entrance porch). Tim has a very cool long-exposure picture of the igloo, lit with a paraffin lamp from inside, with someone outside writing "Rothera Winter 2006" with a head torch next to it.

29th Sep 2006, 00:05

michaelpj says:

Hildegard - it's not that we haven't got anywhere, it's that growing non-native plant species in anything but the most tightly controlled environment is prohibited under the Antarctic Treaty. That said, the Australian and American bases have proper hydroponics facilities, but if they get any kind of disease the whole greenhouse has to be nuked with chemicals to prevent diseases spreading to native plants. Yes, we do have plants. They're just very very small and quite rare. There's even a tiny amount of grass on Anchorage Island.

The new British base at Halley will have hydroponics, too, so I expect that Rothera will get them at some point. At the moment the only green thing in the whole base is the Last Onion, which is sprouting in a glass of water on the kitchen hatchway.

29th Sep 2006, 00:09

swamprose says:

could we see a photo of The Last Onion? When does the supply ship get there with new things?

and hey, as a native plant person, just want to say yes, I know you don't have tomatoes and lettuce like the rest, but Anarctica is fragile and already under siege, so I LIKE the fact that someone is aware of bringing in 'alien' species...

29th Sep 2006, 00:14

michaelpj says:

I'll try and take a pic of the Onion soon.

Fresh food will arrive on the first aircraft around the end of October (and we'll get fresh stuff roughly every 7-10 days after that, depending on flights), but the main bulk of the groceries will come in on the RRS James Clark Ross just before Christmas.

29th Sep 2006, 00:21

Dhamaka says:

I'd like to see a photo of the Last Onion, how do you compensate for no fresh veggies in your diet? (or have I missed something)

29th Sep 2006, 07:06

Geodyne says:

Cool igloo! I've always wanted to do that, it looks challenging and a lot of fun. How many people helped?

Re: hydroponics on Halley - I was at a takl earlier this week at which they said that they're putting the services in for it, but they're not sure where the money is coming from for it yet...

I'm also looking forward to a pic of The Last Onion. ;-)

29th Sep 2006, 10:21

michaelpj says:

Dhamaka - we have frozen, dried and canned vegetables, which are pretty good if you're careful how you cook them. None of us are showing symptoms of scurvy!

29th Sep 2006, 13:07

Dhamaka says:

I'm sure you wouldn't, after all scurvy can be avoided with vitamin pills.

Canned mandarin oranges, now they're nice

29th Sep 2006, 15:01

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