It is -74 Degrees Celsius… Welcome to Planet Concordia
Today we had our first sign of the return of light over Concordia. The sun remained far below the horizon, but its rays curved around the world and peeked over the horizon providing a warm glow and the landscape was lit up around 1pm.
It kickstarted our memories of daylight and broke the silent darkness over Concordia. Concordia has been alone in the darkness for 3 months.
Warmth came to our hearts and a New Hope. It was truly a magnificent feeling, but one that should be taken with caution.
We headed out into the warm glow, likes moths to a light.
I sat down briefly and rested, from the draining hypoxic effort, and bathed in the warm glow.
Walking home from the outing with French Astronomer Guillaume Bouchez, featured in the photos, one of my eyes froze closed- where the eyelids had frozen together. Typical, just when there is something to see! But we have to be thankful, because at these temperatures your corneas (outer surface of the eye ball) can actually freeze, and that can be very severe indeed.
The glow only lasted for a short time, and soon the Sun retreated and sank further, deeper plunging us back into darkness. The moon swung up high providing a spotlight, behind Concordia, in an otherwise jet black starry polar night sky.
Despite our false New Hope in the upcoming return of the Sun by mid August, the temperatures will plummet as we struggle through another difficult period over the coming months. And like the journey in Lord of the Rings, we were entering a new chapter in this trilogy, experiencing the most extreme transition between seasons that is available anywhere on our planet. But we will do so together, as a Team. Living down here in the world’s most extreme environment, there is no other way.
Here comes the Sun. Another two weeks… maybe three. At last.
When I got home, I changed out of my cumbersome down outer clothing and found a cup of tea. I went past a window and looked out. Complete darkness! Was it just another cruel dream… Antarctica teasing and torturing our minds again. Only time will tell.