BELARE 2007-2008: Summary of Activities

In our last report, it was mentioned that all the containers had been recovered from Breid Bay and that the camp site was slowly filling up with equipment. The building team is preparing the Utsteinen Ridge for the station's anchoring points and making progress on constructing the wind turbines.

Over the past few days, the sun has continued to shine, raising temperatures above zero degrees around mid-day. However, at night, it quickly turns cold. A couple of nights ago, they had the coldest night so far: -16°C. But no one complains, given their warm and protective sleeping bags!

On top of the ridge, the wind chill factor makes it feel even colder, so it is necessary for the workers to wear a heavy jacket and gloves to avoid getting fostbitten. Members from the drilling company have removed loose rocks and cleared the points where they intend to anchor the polar station. They will start to drill as soon as the rest of their drilling equipment arrives on site in just a few days. Defining the exact position of the station requires very precise calculations and needs to take into consideration the topography of the ridge. To do this, the drilling specialists are using a large number of computers and other measuring devices, which seem to be taking up quite a lot of space in the office of the expedition's headquarters.

The team working on the wind turbines has made good progress. Holes have been drilled where the first turbine will be placed and they have begun fixing the steel bars that will anchor the turbines with special resin that must be heated for 48 hours before they can be installed. As a reminder, six containers containing enough carpentry for the crew to get a head start on the garage were left behind last year. An area measuring 80 x 80 metres has been cleared next to the ridge (see picture) where the garage is to be built.

As of today, Nov. 15th, four more team members will fly in from Novolazarevskaia with 4,500 kg of food as well as more base camp materials and building equipment. Building a new polar station takes a lot of organisation!