Nigel Dean, tractor mechanic; 1994

My story is a bit out of the ordinary. I wintered at Rothera '92 and '93. Just as I was getting ready to get on the big red taxi I was asked by BAS if I would do another winter, this time at Halley. The reason being that that year the winter / summer had not been a happy one and a lot of the personnel who were meant to be wintering decided to resign. BAS were short of a tractor mech, WBC, Plumber and sparky. I flew over from Rothera with a good friend of mine Steve Dow (WBC Rothera) who was, like me to do a 3rd winter as Plumber. Brian Malone, ex Signy was brought in from the UK as WBC along with Shaun Brown as Sparky. The atmosphere was not great when me and Steve arrived on base but we made the best of it. We were threatened by some of the leaving FIDS who were all on the Branny. I had had friends who had wintered at Z whilst I was at R, we talked a bit by HF but nothing really prepared me for what a Z winter was really like. We had it easy I hear you say living above ground unlike the real Z fids. I had had a couple of great winters at R being one of the last people to run the dogs before they were shipped out. One of the saving graces for me at Z was that I had to get off base every day to go to my workshop 500m from the main platform. I did some man haul trips, hard work to say the least. The training kept me fit,ish over the winter hauling heavy sleds round the perimeter. The highlights for me were seeing the aurora, emp's and abbing down to take a look at Z3 which when I was there was sticking out of the end of the ice cliff at the coast. It was very strange to be inside the old base; the "tube" that we went into was the one with the surgery with some pit rooms. Most of it was intact but a bit distorted. On getting back home I was thrilled to find out that I had been awarded the Polar medal. One of my proudest days was spent at Buck house getting me gong along with Paul McCartney etc..

On returning from Z I did the usual SA tour. I then ended up working with another couple of ex FID's in La Palma, Canary islands working for the RGO. I then went to work in Turkey for a yacht charter company, I have changed companies but am still out here and am now managing a fleet of 25 yachts.

15 July 2001

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