After waiting for days, weeks and a few false starts, the call came through that the weather would behave and allow a flight to depart from our friends over at McMurdo. So what do we do when the forecasters ask for weather observations for the entire time of the flight and starting form a few hours before? Well, first we check time zones — McMurdo are on New Zealand time — and then we find out what time the first observation is required (2:30am our time). Then we work out amongst the three of us who will go to the Skiway and report from there.
Michael was on the normal observation shift, but still started at 2:30am, Abrar was the slushy for the day, leaving me to go for an overnight stay with Ben M and to catch as much sleep as possible before work. And so, each hour I called in the current conditions to the forecasters in Hobart using a very dodgy satellite phone link and in between was reading a book about the history of the Melbourne Cup from 1861–1961. The most boring thing I've ever read.
The weather at our end seemed to be playing nice, until the fog came in, then dissipated and came in again and dissipated and came in and dissipated and came in and dissipated until we finally had a glorious day and perfect conditions for a plane to land.
Yes, that’s right, we have the first people we've seen since February 19th on station and proof that there is life beyond the ice. We farewell two of our fellow winterers tomorrow and wait for the C-130 to arrive in a couple of weeks time.