Princess Elisabeth station, season 2010-2011

Arrival at the Princess Elisabeth-station

Arrival at the Princess Elisabeth-station

© International Polar Foundation / René Robert

Presently, the austral summer is warming up Antarctica and Princess Elisabeth’s operational and scientific teams have just arrived at the station, preparing for the BELARE (Belgian Antarctic Research Expeditions) 2010-2011 season. They have had a long journey.

They flew from Brussels to Cape Town, from where they flew further to Novolazarevskaya, the Russian scientific station situated at the Antarctic coast. That’s where the 13 containers with 67 tons of material, food, fuel and scientific equipment, which were shipped from Zeebrugge (Belgium) at the beginning of November, were waiting for them. Despite the cold and windy conditions, the crew managed to successfully load some equipment aboard the DC-3 plane for a first flight to the Princess Elisabeth station, which is built inland.

Arriving at the Princess Elisabeth station after a relatively quiet flight, the team was surprised by the unseasonably warm weather (to Antarctic standards!) with temperatures close to -20°C in the sun. The good news is that all the installations (wind turbines, solar panels and satellite dish) made it through the hardships of the Antarctic winter. Inside the station, the temperature was -5°C. The team was back at the station after eight months away, and their first job was to clear the entrance to the garages and the technical areas from the accumulated snow. They all shovelled and bulldozed and then Alain Hubert and François Tilmans quickly finished the job with Prinoth tractors. All in all, this took three days. The next job on the plate was to clear the snow on the solar panels, located on the roof of the garages.

Snow petrels have also returned from their migration to enjoy the warmer weather and the sun. Thus far, spirits are high as the team is preparing for the months ahead.

Follow the 2010-2011 BELARE expedition on

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