Cold Feet

A Teacher's Tale

Dec 2007

Home at last

I hope that you have had fun following our adventures on the Fuchs Foundation website.
I have had a great Christmas and, in spite of itching to get back some day, I am relieved that I did not have to spend Christmas in Antarctica. There has been a rather mixed end to our expedition. We arrived at Heathrow a little before 6.00 pm on Friday 21st of December and were met by our cameraman Richard Wylie and his colleague from Brook Lapping, the production company that have been making a programme about the expedition. Peter and Ann Fuchs came all the way from Leicestershire to welcome us home, as well as various friends and relations.

Peter and Ann Fuchs welcome Carolyn and Phil back at Heathrow

Steve Bull then drove us to Portsmouth for the final task. On Saturday we made an early start to spend the day being put through the various tests and tasks that we had completed just before we left for Antarctica. I experienced virtually no significant change to any parameter of measurement that we tried. Most of us indeed showed few changes apart from one intriguing change that affected all of us. In the VO2 max test we all showed a marked drop in our heart rate for an identical workload tackled before we left. Have we simply become fitter as a result of all that hauling? Phil was measureably stronger in this test as well, so clearly all that hauling of pulks has beefed him up a bit. Phil has two gears (on or off) and is mostly "on", so we called him the Duracell bunny. It looks as if all that energy expenditure has done something interesting and should give some useful results for his scientific project.

Dr Frank Golden dips Amy's finger in cold water


Ruth is subjected to the "null zone" one more time

Unfortunately, we have had one very disappointing experience to add to the expedition. Emerging from the Spinnaker building at Portsmouth University to leave in our hired van, we found that the back window had been smashed and two rucksacks stolen. One was mine and one Amy's. Although I lost my camera equipment and the film in it, all the other exposed film was with me and the remainder of the contents were mostly (extremely smelly) clothing and cold weather gear. Most of this is replaceable. However, Amy lost the scientific samples of lichen that she had collected in Antarctica as well as her notes and many personal documents. We can only hope that these items, useless to anyone else, will be ditched or handed in soon but it seems unlikely.
The soft-toy penguin that I bought for Freman College was, alas, stolen. I will have to see of it is possible to find a replacement in England but will it really count?