What started out as a routine work expedition to Jacks donga last Wednesday, ended up being somewhat of an adventure instead.
There was four people who set out from the station in two Hägglunds for the journey over to Jacks — Mark the plumber, Jeremy the electrician, Doug from comms and Gavin the dieso. The journey over was uneventful taking about forty five minutes to reach Jacks. That’s when the adventure started.
The weather turned on us rather quickly after arriving making it a bit of a challenge to get unloaded and settled into the donga. Once this was done the only person able to do any work was Mark who reinstalled the gas heater which had been taken back to station by the previous visitors to be serviced. With the wind at approximately forty knots and increasing it meant that Doug wasn’t going to be able to change out the radio aerial as planned, so we settled in for the night hoping the winds would calm down overnight.
During the evening, the generator stopped working as it was blizzed-up, in other words turned into an icicle, so we had to change over generators and bring the other one inside to defrost. Thankfully the donga has a small battery backup for the radio and a light enabling us to see inside the donga between generators.
In the morning the winds showed no signs of abating so the decision was made to head back to station, so off we set in about 50 knot winds with visibility down to about ten metres as can be seen in the photos below. It was a very slow trip home but after approximately three hours, we arrived safe and sound.
We now have to wait for another good weather window opportunity to head back out there to complete the works that we originally set out to do.