Main  Party Arrival

16" x 30",   Oil on canvas board,   2006,    325

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In January 1957, the MV Tottan, (grey) and the MV Magga Dan (red) arrived with the Main Party to relieve the advance party and run the Royal Society Antarctic Base of Halley Bay during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58.  Halley is situated at approximately 75 degrees South and 26 degrees West on the eastern shoreline of the Weddell Sea.  The original base was established about two miles from an inlet in the edge of the Brunt Ice Shelf which was named after the astronomer Edmund Halley.  There have been a succession of bases at this approximate location through several rebuilds over the last 50 years. 

At the conclusion of the International Geophysical Year the base was taken over by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, (FIDS) which later became the British Antarctic Survey.  The sixth base, Halley 6,  is now projected for construction on elevated, insulated  living modules, along way from the original wooden huts which became so easily buried and ultimately crushed under an intolerable burden of accumulated drifting snow.  Furthermore as the ice shelf is constantly advancing seaward about  a quarter of a mile per year, parts break off and drift out into the Weddell Sea as icebergs carrying the early bases buried deeply within  them.  Halley 6 will thus be both elevated and movable to maintain it on a more permanent location.  For more information please see the British Antarctic Survey website linked on my home page.