After nine months of isolation it was all so surreal. There were those that knew a couple of blokes and moved forward to welcome them, but most of us just stood and stared. Most of us had jobs to do refueling and I had fire control so we didn't get emotionally involved and just got on with the job. Finally when it was time for our comrades to embark it really hit home and there were a lot of slap handshakes and a few man hugs. They all climbed aboard and buckled up as the turbo props wound up and shortly after we were exchanging profanities through the windows as the plane taxied away.
We watched it in silence as it taxied to the end of the ski way and watched as it powered up and raced down the ski way lifting into the air. Finally it was just a black dot in the blue sky and that phase of our Antarctic experience was over.
The new people had walked back to the station and we were left alone to pack up and drive back to the station. Back at the station we just all stood back and looked with curiosity at all the new people doing their station introductions. It was an awkward night as they were tired and we were curious and there was not a lot of convergence. I had lost Chris and gained Richard.