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3 consecutive winters, any one else....

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  • 3 consecutive winters, any one else....

    Hi I am new to this
    I was "lucky" enough to have done 3 consecutive winters with BAS at Rothera 92, 93 then at Halley 94. Does any one else know who else who has done 3 winters in a row. I along with me mate Steve Dow did the 3 winters 2 a Rothera and 1 at Halley as they were short of Staff at Halley for the 94 winter.

  • #2
    Hi Nigel,

    Welcome to the board. When I was on Signy in the mid 1980's, there was a famous "enforced winter" not so long beforehand - can't remember when, more than 5 years, less than 10 probably - when last call couldn't get in and so anyone due out on last call had an extra winter. There were a small number of people who had already done 2 and so that was their 3rd along with summer only and people who had done 1 winter.

    Also, around the same sort of time, one of the East European countries had a base on the peninsula or maybe King George Island, Polish I think, who couldn't afford to send a supply ship down one summer(!). They decided the men had enough supplies and so they all had an extra winter too! It wasn't so bad for them as the other bases in the vicinity took pity and passed them various goodies.

    It's certainly very unusual and you're the only one I've heard of who did it voluntarily.


    • #3
      Hi Paul
      Yes I heard of the Signy extra winter. From my memory the guy had done 2 winters at Halley and was dropped off at Signy to do some work. The ice closed in and he was not able to be picked up to head north. During my time there was always talk fo double pay if you had to do a 3rd winter...... Pitty it was not true. Keep up the good work.



      • #4
        On Andy Smith's zfids site there are some wintering statistics that say that John Carter and Geoff Smith did three consecutive winters at Halley in 67, 68 and 69. It doesn't say if they were enforced or voluntary!



        • #5

          hi nigel:

          I recognise your name, but i don't think we met. I did the last three at Faraday, voluntarily. Many good memories, but i wouldn't recommend it.



          • #6
            Hi - I worked in Establishments which I think is now called Personnel from the mid 1970's to the mid 80's. There was also the enforced winter for 3 Fids at an Argentine base - I think they were Phil Marsh, Dog Holden and sorry I can't remember the 3rd. Perhaps someone out there can jog my appalling memory. As with the Signy enforced winter the weather was to blame!


            • #7
              Hi Carys,

              I emailed Dog Holden to ask him about his winters, his reply as follows:

              Hello Paul,

              I didn't do three consecutive winters but simply two spells of two. 1974 @ Stonington Island (Base E), 1975 @ Adelaide Island (Base T) then 1977 @ Rothera (Base R) and then an enforced 1978 winter with the Argentinians on their Base General Belgrano on the Filchner Ice Shelf. It may be this latter which has caused some slight confusion since I and two other Fids got "stuck" at Belgrano for the winter!

              A contemporary of mine, John Carter, did 3 winters at Halley Bay in the late 1960's I think.

              cheers for now,


              • #8
                Thanks for all the info on the 3 winters, very interesting


                • #9
                  3 consecutive winters

                  Several examples of 3 consecutive winters. A whole base had an asdditional extra year - Stonington winter 1949 - among the fids was Bernard Stonehouse. You are correct with the 2 Halley Fids in the 60's - also I believe Jim Shirtcliffe did 3 consecutive ones in the 60's. Also Paul Gurling did 3 in the late 60's early 70s. BAS don't encourage it - it takes even longer to re acclimatize to "civilisation" when you get back. I think most number of winters is still held by Kenn Back at 10 or 11.


                  • #10
                    Seven personnel had an enforced winter at Signy in 1980 and for three of us it was a third consecutive winter:
                    George Hawthorn, Peter Christie and Tom Lachlan-Cope.
                    Pete and I had already had two winters on Signy but Tom was on his way home from 2 years on Halley and stopped off on Signy for a summer jolly!

                    We had all had the chance to depart on the Bransfield a few weeks earlier but had decided to stay until the end of the summer. However the sea ice moved north much earlier that year and the Biscoe didn't get to within 200 miles of us.

                    This could have caused problems but we managed to eke out the stocks of food, beer and ektachrome. It was a cold winter with excellent sea ice so we had some very good sledging trips to Coronation Island and through the Divide.



                    • #11
                      Hi George, thanks for the post, your third winter was the stuff of legend while I was on Signy (winters '85 and '86) and the prospect of an enforced winter was much discussed, with a great sea-ice year being the compensation as you said.

                      The year after I left however, winter '87 was almost as good and most of the base got down to the divide without an enforced winter, I even seem to remember there may have been some degree of sea-ice relief at first call posible.


                      • #12
                        3 winters in a row

                        good to hear of all the other 3 consecative winterers. it would seem that Signy has had the most. I would love to hear from any other 3 winterers. still seems quite uninique perhaps we can have a "club tie" or something to pick us out.... any way drop me a line.