Cloudspotting

(Thought)

When was the last time you looked up the sky and wondered at the clouds? Not only at their shapes that can resemble many things and inspire children and future tellers, but at their height and size and thickness, structure and movement. You can discover a whole new world in the clouds, which are the actors in the theater of weather. You don’t need a degree to enjoy watching clouds, you just have to look up any time during the day or night. I discovered this world during my meteorology training at the British Antarctic Survey, and since that there is no day, when I wouldn’t watch the sky and I don’t understand how did I miss it until now. I’m just an amateur, but I might be able to infect you with my enthusiasm towards clouds. Don’t miss it.

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Science in Antarctica

The Antarctica was the last major unknown land of our planet. As wild and inaccessible as the most fearsome mountain peaks with double the size of Australia, Antarctica was the subject of the last heroic age of exploration just a few decades before the mankind turned its head towards the stars. The Antarctica was also the subject of an unprecedented world-wide collaboration dedicating the whole continent to scientific investigations and banning both military and mineral exploration activities. But what kind of scientific investigation needs a 14 million sq km laboratory in one of the harshest places of the Earth? Becoming one of the wintering electronic engineers of the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI station is not only the greatest adventure of my life, but also an opportunity to watch and assist some of the major scientific explorations of our age. (Check my weekly diary for more.)

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Nature by a scientist’s eyes

(Thought)

Going out to the nature can mean a lot of different things. It is an adventure for one, and a relaxation for the other. It can be an opportunity to meet others or to be alone a while. It is also fun to know what it means to others, which can be shared through conversations or by photos. So I was glad my girlfried took hundreds of pictures on the hiking tour I guided to the Watzmann ridge, because that way I could see the tour, during which I was too busy looking after our team of 20, through the eyes of a biologist. It’s quite a special angle of view I can assure you.

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The mountain will be there

(Thought)

“Because it’s there.” This was the answer of George Mallory for the question why climb the Everest. These words became the motto of generations of mountaineers. But there are some words I find just as important as those motivating ones, words that saved and will save many lives, words that everybody should keep in mind when facing a difficult decision on the mountain: “it will be there”.

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Off to Antarctica

I wanted to write you the story of an amazing cycling tour in the Swiss Alps that I made not long ago, but I really couldn’t focus on it after I received that mail from the British Antarctic Survey: “We would like to offer you the position of Electronics Engineer for a Halley Winter.” Okay, but who cares about me spending 18 months on that frozen continent apart from my family and girlfriend? Well, since I consider it the second best thing after going to space, it might be interesting for some others too, but I wouldn’t really write about myself, not even about Antarctica yet, there will be plenty of time. I would rather write about what lead to this. How the impossible might happen.

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Peaceful hunt for wild beasts

(Thought)
The patience has finally paid off. The beast appeared on the edge of the meadow. My hearth was beating fast, the grip fit securely in my palm giving a familiar feeling. The call of the water overwhelmed the caution of the beast and it started to cross the meadow. I raised the optics to my eyes and aimed on the silhouette through the high grass. The next moment it was in front of me enlarged by the zoom like it would be within reach. It looked directly at me frozen for a moment. I pulled the sensitive trigger and it released the precise mechanism while the beast stood on its back legs and jumped. It reached the edge of the woods in seconds, but I already got what I came for: a photo of a grown deer in its own habitat.

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