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Fids Gallery - RRS John Biscoe II

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The British Antarctic Survey ship RRS John Biscoe II at first relief of Signy Island in November 1985. Being a small ship with a shallow draft, the Biscoe was able to come very close in to shore. Here it is pumping diesel ashore into a bulk fuel tank through a floating fuel line, the string of black floats can be seen between the ship and shore. This fuel is what will power the generators that will keep the base "alive" through the year, particularly the winter.

"First relief" is an event that cannot be explained to those who have never experienced the isolation of an Antarctic winter. Suddenly "The World" - this distant memory - arrives on your doorstep and acts as if it's not at all unusual. Despite appearances, many base winterers find it a time of difficulty and awkwardness.

When something is gained, something is also lost
Chinese proverb


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