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Chronicles from Concordia

Plumbing in freezing conditions

17 Sep 2013, 14:00 UTC
Plumbing in freezing conditions
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Olivier Delanoë, this year’s plumbing technician at Concordia recounts travelling and arriving at the base at the end of the world last year.
Before coming to Antarctica I had already spent six months on the Kerguelen islands at the South of the Indian ocean. The sea there is an icy 2 degrees, the winter is harsh and fauna find it hard to survive.
I am now heading for another winterover, but this time much more to the South passed the strong Westerly winds found in the Southern hemisphere. I had no trouble with seasickness as I took the plane to Antarctica, but I would love to return by boat if I have the chance. The cargo plane is filled with colleagues and arriving in Antarctica only took six hours after a five-day wait in New Zealand. Few destinations in the world take so long to travel to. We live in a society where speed dominates. Here speed depends on the weather.
Antarctica. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-A. Salam
We flew over a frozen sea and saw the white continent approach as an uniform surface. Its high mountains rose towards us with their glaciers descending to the coast like snake tongues. As we approach ...

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