A trip to Jack's and preparation for the season at Wilkins

What's happening at Wilkins

This week, the blue ice runway preparations reached another milestone. The team of four completed the clearing of the accumulated winter snow from the 3 km length of the runway and proceeded to proof roll.

This involves driving a weighted trailer over the surface area of the runway to check for areas of weakness in the ice. These are then knocked out and repaired to ensure a smooth and safe landing for the A319 early next month.

A trip to Jack's hut

We ventured out last night to Jack's hut, which is situated just south of the Swain group of islands. It is a Weddell pupping area from September to November. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of some newborns. Alas, it was not to be as the few seals that had come up onto the ice were without young.

We spent hours eagerly searching with binoculars from the cosy confines of Jack's hut, eating a wholesome dinner of wine and cheese. Too bad, we'll just need to do it again!

Since you're probably not that interested in seeing what we had for dinner, I do have these adorable photos from last November instead.

Natasha Behrendorff, Casey Doctor