A page about the Antarctic – what’s new about that? There are plenty of those around, but not that many going back to the 1960s. I’d like to say that the weather was wilder in those day, but that’s not what the records show. While the Antarctic Peninsula seems to be warming up faster than anywhere else, the other side of the Weddell Sea shows no sign of that (yet). Tales were taller back then? Not from some of the modern books I’ve read.
So, I’ll stick to life around Halley Bay back then, in the mountains several hundred miles to the east, and the long journey between the two places. See what it was like in the days when we didn’t have transistorised music in a small pocket device and earphones under the balaclava!
Click on heading to reach the page.
During the summer, field workers could be away from the base for many months, travelling with their dog sledges. BAS provided rations for such work, in standardised boxes. 20/11/20.
In 1965, life for me at the Antarctic base of Halley bay was one big ball. No dancing – this story is testicular. If you see that as in poor taste, you could well be right, and I’d advise you to skip this page. But to those who might want a chuckle over an incident in a very different time and place, click on the link. 9/8/20.
Munro Sievwright was an auroral observer at Halley Bay in 1964-5, and Stella Sievwright has allowed me to use in this website photographs from the collection that he took while down there. 12/5/20.
The flat ice shelf immediately around the base presented no hazards but one had only to travel a few miles to find that great care was needed. Two local jaunts demonstrated this. 4/5/20.
The huts at Halley Bay were soon covered by the ever-rising snow, and the older ones were deeply buried. At times it was necessary to go up on to the roof of one, in the low ice-cave that had formed there. 16/4/20.
The Rooftop Expedition story has also appeared in Andy Smith’s Zfids website, covering all aspects of the British Antarctic Survey’s base of Halley (Bay). This link is to the home page of that site - it’s all worth a look. 16/4/20.
A few years ago I got in contact with the British Postal Museum for information about the mailbags that were used in the 1960s, and which found other uses in the Antarctic. They asked if I would write something on the topic for their website, so here’s the link to that page. 16/4/20.