TO CONCORDIA… AND BEYOND

 

Alexander Kumar

Alex Kumar - Dumont DuVille

First, Sorry to not have written anything for days…

I have been very busy… in-between the icebreaker finding its way to land through excess tonnes of ice… and landing at Dumont DuVille, DDU, the French station.

It is incredible. I am blown away by the natural beauty.

I have been playing with Adelie Penguins for a few days… watching over 60,000 penguins which live around and even on/under the base buildings.

We have had a blizzard, icebergs, penguins, a French equivalent of a knighthood ceremony on base, Gin and Tonics, and good french food. Especially good food.

Shortly we will leave by helicopter to where a twin otter will pick us up. I will be providing the medical care for two of my winterover colleagues, but also the VIP guests… an 81 year old French ex-primeminister, a billionaire and the director of the French Polar Operations… now a knight in fact.

No pressure.

In fact that is very true. The atmospheric pressure where we are going is low. There will be one third less Oxygen in the air than at sea level. We will be travelling from sea level to 4000 metres in a 5 hour flight with a refuelling stop expected enroute… at a pile of oil drums left unmanned for any plane landing through. No runway… just ice. Bear in mind this stop will be in the absolute middle of nowhere. Antarctic nowhere. Pure white as far as the eye will see. Nothing for thousands of Kilometres.

If there are any medical problems on board… well, lets hope that there are not.

All my years of training… from the Amazon to flying medical evacs in the Arctic, anaesthetics, intensive care, and sleeping through lectures at medical school at Guys Hospital in London. Here goes Nothing.

I look outside… a perfect day to fly.

I hear a helicopter hover… and french voices bellow ALIX ALIX ALIX. Thats my call.

I must be dreaming.

Some have said Concordia is Hell.

Either way, I will send another update from the other side.

God speed.

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