Disaster Averted, All Going Well
Today we started work again at 7am. Having moved away during the night, this morning we took up a different position alongside the ice which required teams to go ashore in a steel ‘man-basket’. Today more Caterpillar spares were unloaded and we continued with unloading fuel drums and bladders (flubbers). All went extremely well. The only minor mishap was that one flubber fell off a pallet as it was craned from the ship to the shore. It looked as though it was going to land in the sea but, thankfully it dropped into soft snow on the edge of the shelf ice and lodged there. Duncan, with rope and harness, lowered himself down and managed to secure it before hauling it to safety. we have no spares. To lose it would have been a disaster. We also unloaded a couple more ‘scoots’ (fuel sledges). We now have four (out of fourteen) ashore.
The sea has remained calm and the sky clear. It has been pleasantly warm. Later in the day, a gentle swell caused the ship to bump frequently into the ice and it was decided to pull away having finished work for the day by 21.30hrs. The four scoots now have full flubbers secured and ready. Only ten more to go. This means that we have emptied 160 drums into the flubbers (40 drums per flubber) – only 400 more drums to go! Also, more Caterpillar spares and food still need to be unloaded. If this weather continues to remain fair, we should have another excellent day tomorrow.
Everyone is now safely back on board having had a good and successful day.
(update from Anton Bowring)