September jitters in the frozen dark land ….

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IMG_0766September can be a bit of a loony season in things Antarctican. The teams at base are waiting for longer days even as the gentle rays become to peak over the horizon:

On Thursday 13th September, Syd was night watchman, which was typically a time to relax, have a bath, reflect on future endeavours. But in September he knew the year was slipping by, his great Southern Journey into the inland had not been approved and the planes could not take off…

Kirkby diary:

Thursday 13th Sep Screaming howling bloody blizzard and night watch with it. Sitting here with the wind gently rocking the hut and Dinny’s howling drifting down the wind I feel vaguely uneasy, probably due to not being too sure about the fire alarm system seeing I haven’t checked it for about a week, still it should be O.K. … I see in front of me on the bookshelf “Home of the Blizzard”, “The journal of Captain R.F. Scott 1910 – 12”, ‘The South Pole” and …

          Two days later things had not improved much:

Sun 16th September A black old spell, the plane is out, the weasels are out, the dogs are bloody near dead, Peter has torn a muscle in his leg and I have 31 days field work to do in 57 days – damn near impossible. Had my first blue with Bill yesterday over going out alone, he says it is dangerous … Christ all bloody mighty what the hell does he want, he does a good job so long as nothing goes wrong, we can assume that by leaving our beds, I have to get out.

Two days later …. everything looking good …. Nope!

Tues 18th September Hell I feel impotent. The Auster would not start today so home we still are.

And discussion about the Antarctic project back in Australia? That was nice and calm, right? Next post coming up …

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