BACK TO NEWS: Gaining unique insight into operating in the Antarctic.
Ramboll engineering geologist, Jenny Symons joined the BAS team involved with the recommissioning of the station followings its closure over the winter. Here she shares further details of her trip and the project at Signy.
“During my visit to Signy I was able to experience first-hand the relief operations, whereby supplies are delivered to the station and the station is opened up after the winter. Being directly involved with the recommissioning I got a real sense of the great effort involved with delivering all the supplies and getting the buildings and services up and running.
I spent hours hacking out ice from the leaky Top Store, clearing ice and snow to enable the summer seal fence to be built, and trolleyed numerous boxes of food and supplies from the jetty up the ramps to the station stores. The hardships involved with the recommissioning really illustrated the need for new weather-proof buildings and a longer jetty, both of which would expedite the relief operations and enable more time to be spent on the important stuff, the science.
Whilst I was at Signy I was able to gather useful information on the ground conditions, as well as general information regarding the existing layout and how the station inhabitants use the station on a day–to-day basis. Being part of the first call relief operations I was able to gain a real insight into the requirements of the station users and how much of a beneficial impact new buildings and a new jetty would have not only on the lives of the stations users, but also the Captains of the research vessels who have to manoeuvre their ships and cargo tenders into position. The overall beneficial impact would be of course to the science, which is what BAS is all about”.