All but two of the scientists going on the tractor train this season are now either in Antarctica or on their way south, with the last two leaving tomorrow.
For most of the traverse personnel, the journey south starts either at Heathrow (if they are travelling through Chile) or at RAF Brize Norton (if going via the Falkland Islands). The team leaving today is going via Chile – so they will have layovers in Madrid and Santiago before eventually reaching Punta Arenas, where they will spend at least one night. From here, they will fly to Rothera on the Dash-7 as soon as the weather permits. After a few days of field training and checking and preparing equipment on and around the base, they will then fly via Sky Blu to the tractor train on a Twin Otter. The tractor train will then be their home for the next two months.
Among the personnel flying south today is Damon Davies, who has recently started studying for a PhD at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. Damon has set up a great website at http://daviesdamon.wordpress.com/, where he has posted information about his upcoming research using the DELORES deep-looking radar. He will also post updates from the traverse on that website. And we hope to receive updates from him and the other traverse personnel to post on this website over the next months – and then from the science cruise in January-March.