mardi 21 décembre 2010

Travel to Antarctica

Zorigo has left Belgium just in time, to avoid all the troubles with the weather. He arrived in Cape Town on the 16th. On the 17th, there was the briefing with ALCI, the company that is responsible for the flights.

Alexey Turchin - director of ALCI and Vasily Kaliazin - chief of the Cape Town Office (left to right)

At the briefing, all information on the trip were exchanged, and safety measures were explained. Zorigto was designated as group leader. Indeed, there are too many people arriving at the same time in Novo airfield and not all of them will take the first flight by Bassler to the Princess Elisabeth station. Because Zorigto is Russian and was already there last year, he will be responsible for the second group that will probably overnight at Novo.

Briefing of the group leaders at ALCI Office. From BELARE: Gigi, Michel, Johan and Zorigto. Vladimir Kiryanov - director of the NOVO base is sitting between Gigi and Michel de Wouters.

The flight with the Ilyuchin was planned at 23:00 on Saturday 18 December. The flights happen usually during the night because the wind conditions are generally better.
On Sunday, early morning, they arrived at NOVO airfield in Antarctica. The first group with Gigi departed immediately by Bassler. Steve, Olivier and Zorigto, as well as 2 japanese field guides and 2 geologists from AWI (the German Antarctic Institute) stayed on NOVO for about 6 hours. Then, the Bassler came back and picked them. They arrived at the station around 15H30. The group of glaciologists, around Jean-Louis Tison (ULB) went out by the same flight, to come back to Belgium. They have been working at the coast for about 1 month.

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