24.11. A Day Off

Today is our first day off since we arrived at Svea. It’s a bit windy outside, quite mild and misty, a bit like Scotland in good winter climbing nick. Time to catch up on reading, programming, feeding, finding the cricket on the HF radio and fixing the candle to celebrate Aslak’s birthday. Stupid John, of course, forgot to bring any presents.

Traveling through the air strip in the Schumacker Oasis (Novo) on the Iluyshin and then the old Basler was an interesting experience. The staff of the ALCI are mostly Russians and they do a really good job – as is evidenced by the fact that about 15 countries use their plans for Antarctic logistics. But they certainly have their own style – almost every nation’s polar clothing is on display on the guys at the Weatherport hut tents at Novo. One of the Swedes seeing a fellow-Swede driving a forklift unloading a plane went to
tell him that he couldn’t just jump into the ALCI vehicle, but then realized that the guy wearing the SWEDARP windproof was actually a Russian. 

Just next to the landing strip there is another kind of Iluyshin – this is a surprisingly practical bi-plane that was used for internal Antarctic flights (the Finns went from Novo to Aboa with it in 2003). However this plane will fly no more, thanks to the winter winds that overwhelmed the tie downs from the tail and wings. Many planes meet this fate in Antarctica, certainly those that are kept outside eventually must.

FINNARP and SWEARP consider asking for a flight
re-booking. Photo: John Moore/FINNARP


-John & Aslak


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KINNVIKA EXPEDITION by Emilie, Venkata, Michael and Sakari

ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION by John Moore and Aslak Grinsted


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