“How did we blog from the field ?”
The Darwin Glacier is so remote that modern ways of communication are no option – because there is no internet or cellphone reception available. In order to send messages to the outside world, we relayed our daily updates via high-frequency radio to Scott Base. HF communication is often called short wave radio and uses the reflection of waves within the ionosphere layer of our atmosphere.
By this method HF radio waves can travel beyond the horizon, around the curve of the Earth, and can be received all around Antarctica and even at intercontinental distances. We never knew who else was listening on our frequency and we are very sorry if we have occupied channel 3 for to long.
Unfortunately, suitability of HF radio is highly dependent on solar activity, because radiation of the sun affects the wave propagation significantly. Sometimes we even had to relay our messages using the NATO phonetic alphabet due to a noisy signal or a broken antenna. The spelling alphabet is also a great way to come up with new nicknames…
However, the highly-collaborative staff from Scott Base (Ruby, Leigh, Jim and Dave) then typed down the message and sent it via email to my friend Tom “Tango Romeo” Rose back in Christchurch, NZ, where he published it as soon as possible.
Our field blog was a team effort of many involved people and I owe each of them a big “Thank You”. Reading through all the questions and comments now is very rewarding and makes this blog the “icing on the cake” of our expedition.
In this sense:
Charlie Whiskey, over and out !