Tuesday 8 May 2018

An encouraging sight

We all dashed outside last night to see a good built up raft of ice pushing into our section of open water. Having broken away from above the wires there was naturally quite a bit of excitement from the camp. It all began to build in front of us and then stopped. Our open water had been filled! This morning however the way cleared and we have quite an expanse of open water in front of the lodge and below the lodge a narrow channel.

On the move
Yesterday was a hive of activity. We shocked ourselves with how quickly and easily we got things up and running. Ceri and Millie did an excellent job of splitting the dry food order and making a list of things still to acquire. All the new camp equipment is also now parcelled up and ready for the off. We had a warm hearty supper last night and Bill joined the kitchen in trying on the new aprons...

Bill and Millie choosing aprons

We were joined by more and more of the Russian team yesterday. It was Banya Sasha's birthday yesterday and he was on very good form chatting to "Fred" (Glenn to us). Christina made her way to camp late last night from Umba and everywhere was busy with set up week chores.

Camp supplies all divided and ready
Overnight we had a little rain but it was quite cold again. It was disappointing to see the ice blockage was still there but as we sat down to a scrummy breakfast the landscape started to shift to the south. We now have quite a section of open water. As we have learned from experience though what we see here and how close the river is to breaking are two very different things.

My temporary quarters
The Russian team arrived this morning over the snow mobile track through the woods as there is now no way to get to and fro by river. We had an international inspection of the river and are now setting to work to get the Bill Drury rental sets replenished and up to scratch and the girls are busy in the kitchen prepping for the week ahead.

Feoder and Bill discussing movements over night
Having discussed the current situation with Charlie last night it has been decided to go full steam ahead for week 1 and work with the conditions as we find them. We will keep a close eye on the weather and the river over the next couple of days. It is overcast today but there is talk of 11 degrees C in a day or two giving us hope for that much needed lift in the water height to clear the ice and banks. Fingers and toes crossed.

A bit more open water post breakfast

Jack Selby (Operations Manager)