Sirius Sledge Patrol - Daneborg, Greenland. Today was a day off for us, but began with the loudspeaker blaring some Danish announcement at 7:15am. I was not sure what was being said, but it sounded like “wake up campers, breakfast will be served in 30 minutes”. The announcement was repeated two more times 15 minutes apart. I quickly gathered my gear and prepared for breakfast. We walked down to the command center where the patrol eats and hangs out together. On the way, we passed the husky compound. These dogs were tired! They pull sleds up to 20,000 kilometers a year.
As soon as you walked into the door, there were two weapons hanging close by. I’m guessing they are for polar bears that decide to get a little too personal with the patrol.
Once we removed our shoes in the foyer, we went down a hallway that had pictures of the men doing various activities. It looked like they were a very tight group. I imagine they had to be, since they were the only people they would interact with for the next two years. At the end of the hall was the dining area. They had set out a buffet style breakfast with plenty of meat, cheese, bread, pancakes and toppings. We all sat together at two large tables, family style. I could not understand what they were saying, but they were very happy and laughing. They had a very good reason to be so happy, they just returned from a three-month patrol along the east coast on the dogsleds. The young men wasted no time eating and when they finished, they all got up together and within minutes had the entire area clean and tidy. After cleaning, they quickly dispersed to continue their duties.
As for us, we had to pack our gear and walk to the plane. After a quick refuel, we were off. I was a little concerned about the extremely short runway, but Valdi and Raggi, did an excellent job of getting us off of the ground in a few hundred feet!
The flight to Summit Station took about one hour and thirty minutes. I was very excited to return to Summit Station. I was here last August for 12 days servicing an AWS with Nikko. The pilots landed the plane very gently at then helped us unload the plane one last time. Valdi and Raggi were two of the hardest working people I have ever met. They were with us the entire traverse, loading, unloading, lifting, carrying, holding, and of course, flying! We said our goodbyes and they were back in the air, flying to their home in Iceland. They just beat the huge storm moving in from the west.
On the walk to the Big House, I stopped to take a picture of our home for the next week. Tent city is where we will sleep and keep our gear. With the forecast, it looks like tonight could get a little interesting. At least we will eat well!
The winds are picking up and are expected to hit 40mph. Couple that with -5 degrees F temperatures and you get wind chills in the -30’s! Have a great night!