AND AGAIN — TO ROUGH BEAUTY OF ANTARCTICA

“...The continent presses scanty tears from the eyes of bearded men, places faded sorrow in their soles while parting with it. The South ocean is not a fountain at health resort, but I already know that I would certainly throw a coin at the time of farewell in order to come back”, — in such a manner Alexei Gaidashov, a Belarusian polar explorer, was writing about Antarctica. And again he is coming back to that amazing continent — now as a head of Belarusian expedition
“...The continent presses scanty tears from the eyes of bearded men, places faded sorrow in their soles while parting with it. The South ocean is not a fountain at health resort, but I already know that I would certainly throw a coin at the time of farewell in order to come back”, — in such a manner Alexei Gaidashov, a Belarusian polar explorer, was writing about Antarctica. And again he is coming back to that amazing continent — now as a head of Belarusian expedition.

Alexei Gaidashov, who has already visited the coldest continent for several times, left on board “Akademik Fedorov” from St. Petersburg to such an uneasy trip along with big and valuable expedition cargo (research and various multifunctional equipment that would help Belarusians to carry out a range of technical work and to equip their temporal accommodation at the former Russian station upon Vecherniaya mountain). After some time the other three expedition members will follow them towards the South Pole.
— We consider the base upon Vecherniaya mountain, that is located near the Russian station “Molodezhnaya” as a support point, — Alexei Gaidashov said in several days before his departure, — because in the present time our attention is focused on the geographical complex of Vecherniaya mountain, and this territory is much bigger. And new Belarusian station is supposed to be built within the complex of Vecherniaya mountain, so we do not have the aim to get settled in old Russian premises permanently. But we are going to equip that base, made more than 25 year ago, in order to make it available for life and work, as our polar explorers will go there next year. Since new stations are not being built within one or two seasons, our specialists will have to stay somewhere to live. But in any case the district of “Molodezhnaya” station can be considered as the first supporting point of the Republic of Belarus in Antarctica.
—Does the Russian side provide any assistance?
— Yes, Russians maintain and help us in full. Moreover, adaptation of intergovernmental agreement regarding cooperation in the planet polar region concluded between our countries is in the stage of completion. Since it will have been completed, different departments of our countries would have a possibility to directly cooperate, to work closer. Support providing by the Russian Federation that has huge experience of 50 years in polar explorations, personnel, transport facilities is very important for us nowadays.
—Apart from all the necessary for work, will you take anything for soul pleasure — books, music?
— Yes, we will take “Horizont” TV set, a DVD-player, discs. But from my own experience I can say that there will be no time for leisure, very seldom you have some time to let yourself listen to music, to read something, as work process is so intensive that by a night your brain gives a command “to retire” and requires complete rest.
As the First Deputy Minister of Natural Recourses and Environmental Protection Alexander Apatskiy said during a press-conference, Belarusians will transport special equipment and mount a diesel-generating station that would provide them with electricity and warm 24 hours a day. The expedition is also equipped with apparatuses and devices for researching of ozone layer, climate particularities, biological diversity, water, geological conditions in Antarctica. The polar explorers will research open air in the region, develop neighboring oceans’ influence to the climate. The scientists will pass weather reports and some results of their researches to Belarus once a week.
The polar explorers will come back to Belarus in spring — in the beginning of May. And the next Belarusian expedition is planned to be organized in the bigger membership — nearly forteen persons. So Belarusians have a lot of forward in Antarctica.

Yuriy Akimov
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