Monthly Archives: July 2012

Your questions answered

Alex has put together an excellent response to a number of questions sent in recently -- not to be missed! - ED.

A glow on the horizon

Alex writes: It is -74 Degrees Celsius... Welcome to Planet Concordia Taken today, this photograph shows a brief glow that appeared on the horizon and predicts the return of the sun in the next few weeks, warming our hearts with a New Hope.  It was truly a magnificent feeling, but one that should be taken with caution. Concordia has been alone in the darkness for 3 months. It kick-started our memories of daylight. Although the sun itself remains below the horizon, it provides a warming glow that broke the silent darkness over Concordia. And like the journey in Lord of the Rings, we were entering a new chapter in this trilogy, experiencing...

Teardrop from Heaven: Aurora Australis

We may have been the last folk to see the Aurora in Antarctica, but when it came, it was unforgettable. Incredible displays of coloured light, termed Aurora, are produced by collisions, when electrically charged particles travelling from the sun impact with charged particles in the atmosphere, as they enter the atmosphere.  Fluctuations in Sunspot activity create a solar wind - bringing the particle to Earth. Aurora can be different colours - ranging from pink to red to green to blue.  In fact, the different colours are caused by the involvement of different gas particles, and depend on their altitude of impact. Aurora occur in the Northern (Aurora Borealis) and Southern Hemispheres (Aurora...

Midwinter celebrates a midway point of sorts

Alex writes: I will never forget my journey to Concordia. The flight over Antarctica involves a stop between Dumont Duville and Concordia to refuel. The refuelling stops are known as Midpoint A/B/C. You land in a blanket of white - all around you is a flat white horizon. You climb out of the hatch of the 'Twin Otter' airplane and stammer around in the relative hypoxia (lack of oxygen).  Nothing survives there, it is just featureless ice. In a way it could have been heaven.  You know you are half way somewhere, but know you still have a long way to go. Midwinter feels like this.  We are half way into our wintering...

Midwinter, gone with the wind

Alex writes: Midwinter came and went, like a dream.  You can't holiday from the Antarctic winter - we are locked in here for 9 months, alone as a crew of just 13.  You soon get used to your surroundings and everything becomes very monotonous. We all wanted to break the 'Great White Silence' that is the winter around us and chose to go on a holiday of sorts.  During midwinter week, we created various sets using decorations, music, props and costumes that the crew spent a great of time preparing.

Midwinter cooking

Chef Giorgio writes: I was very busy during midwinter. Every day I prepared a different evening meal for the themes we had chosen. They varied from Arabic to Roman flavours. On midwinter day itself we had a gourmet meal themed around polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. I made a specialty from Sardinia where I grew up. Called “Pizzudos di Ovodda” it is a large ravioli, stuffed with melted soft cheese and Pecorino, served with potatoes and a simple basil-tomato sauce and flakes of Parmesan. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I have time for a siesta where I dream up new recipes. Down here in Concordia our dreams are extremely vivid and they have often been inspirational to...