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Architects Journal
Phil Wells

Stories by contributor

  • Architecture and Kids by Phil Wells


    The AJ Writing Prize 2014: Entry
  • Back to work


    Saturday 23 February 2008-5.3 deg CWind: 19.7 knt at 87 deg EThe last few days have been a bit blustery, but everyone sounds like they are having fun. For example, it's an adventure just to walk betweenthe Laws and Piggott buildings.
  • The lost site of Halley


    Wednesday 20 February 2008-5 deg Cwind: 35-40knts, with gusts up to 50kntsVery poor visibilityAttached with this blog are the last pictures I took of site, taken at midnight local time on Monday night, 18 February. We have not seen site since.
  • The environment strikes back


    Tuesday 19 February 2008-6.9 deg CWind: 37.4 knt at 92 deg E
  • Training and hauling


    Sunday 17 February 2008-13 deg CWind speed about 8 knt
  • Hard at work - 14 February


    Thursday 14 February-18.6 deg Cwind 5.4 Kts at 94 deg EOn site at Halley there is lots of activity.
  • Man Hauling in the South Pole


    Wednesday 13 February 2008-15.4 deg CWind: 5.7 kn, at 68 deg EThis Sunday BAS are holding a sponsored ski to the South pole. This will be 320 laps around the perimeter drumline and the event is being held to raise money for the RNLI.
  • Reaching the base - 8 February


    Friday 8 February-9.5 deg CClear but stormy skies over the sea.I had my alarm set for 5am and when I woke the ship was moving really slowly and smoothly.
  • Sighting the Brunt Ice Shelf


    Friday 8 February 2008-9 deg CBrunt Ice Shelf This is my first picture of the Brunt Ice Shelf. It's more stunning (and colder) than anywhere else so far. The Shackleton is currently positioning herself to tie up at creek 4. After making sure the sea ice is firm, we will then start to disembark. Currently it is 6 am (9GMT). We should be on the ice shelf by 12 noon (3 GMT). Will keep you posted. (ps I hope the natives are friendly).
  • Rocket Science! - 5 February 2008


    Tuesday 5 February 2008This week we have been launching XBT rockets off the back of the Shackleton in the name of science. How cool is that!
  • Antarctica! - 5 February 2008


    Tuesday 5 February 2008Bright with cloudy patches-6 deg CToday we reached the coast of Antarctica and are now heading west skirting the Fimbulisen ice shelf, home of the German base Neumayer. It was a shock to finally reach this stage, to finally see on the port side of the ship an ice shelf on the horizon.
  • 12 Hours from Halley - 7 February 2008


    Thursday 7 February-6.5 deg C1pm GMT
  • Dead calm - 4 February 2008


    Monday 4 February 2008Overcast but dead calm outside0 deg CThe sea outside is dead calm. I've never seen anything like it before.
  • Recreation - 3 February 2008


    Sunday 3 February 2008Recreation is a very important part of life on board the Shackleton. Whilst at sea there is no escape from the ship and the recreational facilities on board are one of the best ways to keep fit, let off steam and kill some time. On the Shackleton there are the following facilities:
  • In the lowest decks of the Shackleton - 2 February 2008


    Saturday 2 February 2008 On Saturday morning at 9 am prompt, we were kindly given a guided tour of the engine rooms and main plant on board the Shackleton, by the Chief Engineer Peter Brigden.
  • On the other side - 2 February 2008


    Saturday 2 February 2008Bright with some cloudsApprox +1 deg C outsideThe sea is calmer now. We have crossed the convergence between the Southern ocean and the Atlantic and are now on the other side – the Antarctic side, sailing through the Southern ocean to the Weddell Sea.
  • Icebergs - 1 February 2008


    Friday 1 February 2008A bit chilly outside, but brightand a calmer sea
  • The Surreal - 31 January 2008


    31 January 2008Still overcast with choppy seaThere’s something a bit surreal about all of this. Firstly we have not seen land since Saturday, which is a big deal to a non sailor like me. There is nothing but rolling water outside.
  • Gash duties - 31 January 2008


    Thursday 31 January 2008OvercastChoppy seaToday was my first day on gash duties. Of all the passengers on the ship (five of us), I was the last to participate. This had its advantages because almost everything had been done in the days before.
  • Food on the Shackleton - 30 January 2008


    30 January 20087:30 am GMTOvercast but bright with lively seaThe food on the Shackleton is superb. There is always a selection of nice things to eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks in between.
  • A passage to Halley - 28 January 2008


    Just a quickie – I popped up onto the bridge to check that someone was steering the ship. I met the Chief Officer Andy Newman who kindly confirmed that an officer was always in attendance and they did have a plan to get to Halley.
  • Tour of the ship - 28 January 2008


    28 January 2008About 41 deg SSunnyThe RRS Ernest Shackleton was built in 1995 and is approximately 80m long. It is arranged on three bridge decks, three service decks and two engine room decks. Each deck has a different coloured ceiling to help you orientate around the ship:
  • Seasick II - 27 January 2008


    On board the ShackletonHeading southSunny with a little cloud (nice sun bathing weather)One hour - one lousy hour - from leaving Cape Town and I was in the toilet being sick! We hadn't even hit any rough sea. I went to bed yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 and slept almost solidly until 7 this morning.
  • Sea Sickness I - 26 January 2008


    Saturday 26 January 2008Quay 6V&A Waterfront MarinaCape TownHot
  • Leaving Cape Town - 25 January 2008


    25 January 2008Cape Town, South AfricaSunny, +35 to 38 deg CFor the past three and a half years we have been working continuously on the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station for the British Antarctic Survey. It has certainly been a tough project from the start and we have had some really difficult hurdles to cross to help ensure the project reached this stage.
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