We've arrived!

18/11/2022

We have arrived!!!
Team two - Lucy, Mairi and Natalie - landed on Goudier Island on Saturday 12 November, four days after the first group and many metres of snow later. Yibo the Expedition Leader on MS Roald Amundson updated us on Friday night that we would be dropped off the following afternoon – two days sooner than anticipated. Luckily, we had been preparing and had spent some time that day hoovering out our bags and ensuring all our shoes and boots were mud-free to comply with bio-security requirements.

Saturday morning saw us preparing for an onboard talk and saying our final farewells to loved ones – Starlink was providing amazing Wi-Fi on board and meant we were able to keep in close contact during the journey – something unbelievable even a few months before! Nerves were mounting as we brushed up on our Port Lockroy history for an afternoon lecture as we pulled together some of the recent photos to impress upon the guests that we were about to embark upon. We were taking a step further on our journey. It was wonderful to see such a turn out for our talk and to share our story with everyone we had shared the journey south with.
As we heaved our bags into the zodiac the expedition team waved us off as good friends – ‘there is your home over there’ they said as we looked out into the gloom. We had arrived on a calm but deeply foggy day, so whilst we had arrived, we had no idea what we had arrived to! The short journey to the Island was rather emotional as we looked ahead and looked behind at all it had taken to get to this point. Vicky was waving to us as we neared the shore and as we looked up at the mounds of snow we were excited to have finally arrived…

Pictured above and below: heavy snow made access to Bransfield House and the Nissen Hut hard work. Credit: Flo Kuyper

So, what has arrival meant? Well, it began by being reunited as a team – it was great to be back together again and share stories of our different journeys south. It was snowing/raining on arrival so first things first we got ourselves and our luggage inside. We trudged past the Navy who, visiting on HMS Protector, had been very generously helping to dig Bransfield House out of the snow. We entered our new home via the ‘boot room’ wiping everything down as we entered to keep as much moisture out as possible. The Nissen hut – our new home – had been gradually defrosting over the last few days but remained with a chill in the air and the need to manage condensation would become an important focus. Tea went on and we settled in. In no time we felt at home. Clare showed us around the island and we were ready to help out with the digging.

Pictured (above) the team get much needed help to dig their way into their new home, and (below) the team wave goodbye to new friends and home comforts! Credit: Luis Felipe, Roald Amundsen expedition photographer @ifollowmycamera 

The expedition team from MS Roald Amundson joined us for a stint after they had finished Zodiac cruising with the guests and made short work of clearing one wall of Bransfield House – light could enter the shop again. Teal Morgan was amongst the team who came ashore. His father had built the Nissen hut and Teal was very excited to finally see inside when I gave him a tour. As we waved them off with promises to see each other again in a few weeks we were alone in the snow. Our home for the next 16 weeks. The days are flying by already…you guessed it, lots of snow digging has been involved but we’ll share more soon as we set up for the season ahead.

Lucy