Intermittent sunshine brings warmth and a freshness needed on a stale soul. Beauty is all around us here at Casey. Prehistoric slabs of granite bite into the cold of the Antarctic plateau, and show their might with the weathered peaks, cracked and disfigured. As expeditioners we pass under their weary eyes, as no more than a blink, a speck of sand blown through the blizzard of time. Beauty down here is rugged, harsh and unforgiving. It’s this type of beauty that leaves me with a sense of awe and respect, and an intense desire to immerse myself in it. Getting beyond the confines of our 5-star accommodation to view this wonderland is no mean feat. Not only must we prepare for the worst-case scenario with such things as a full survival kit and communications, but the stars and planets must also align. What I’m saying here is, as much as most of us would like to get out every weekend, nine times out of ten the weather prevents us from doing so.
This is how it is here at the moment. We can smell summer coming, we can taste the long days of warm sunshine, and we can hear the calls of returning wildlife. But it’s just the beginning of spring, and windy, cold and snow-filled days still surround our best intentions. The weather is talked about constantly. Trips planned and cancelled, reasoned by isobars and hectopascals. We try our best, but for the past 6 months, high winds and blowing snow have been the norm. Recently things have taken a turn for the better.