Antarctic Heritage Trust Conservator Jane Hamill shares how Midwinter was celebrated at Scott Base
Sledges and auroras in front of Scott Base (Jane Hamill/AHT)
Last week we celebrated Midwinter at Scott Base. This is an important moment in the Antarctic calendar as it marks the shortest day – not that it feels like day as we haven’t seen the sun since April! The sun is finally on its return journey and we look forward to seeing it on August 19th. And though we do miss the sun, the spectacular displays of Aurora Australis more than make up for its absence.
Much like the early explorers, Midwinter is celebrated by everyone coming together for a feast and a celebration. The Scott Base dining room was transformed for an evening. Chef Paddy put together a delicious and extravagant four course meal for the winter crew and our guests from McMurdo.
During the meal, AHT conservator Conor made a rather apt toast to the early explorers, quoting a member of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition who was stuck on the Endurance for Midwinter in 1916:
‘The great day has at last arrived and who will blame us if we abandon ourselves to an orgy of gluttony? If we are ever to be rescued, we all heartily hope it won’t be this day, or at least not until after supper tonight’.
Midwinter dinner at Scott Base (Stu Shaw)