Carol Devine pays tribute to Lena Nikolaeva of The Russian Antarctic Expedition who is possibly Russia’s foremost female expeditioner to Antarctica and who was the liaison officer on the joint Russian-Canadian environmental cleanup project on which our book is based.
Lena was there working in Antarctica in 2003 during a rare solar eclipse filmed by Japanese TV. This total solar eclipse only occurs every 18 years, 11 and 1/3 days:
“I was at Novolazarevskaya station, at Novo runway, which is on the glacier 10 km from the station….
We stayed in the tents with others mostly of national expeditions waiting for the feeder flights to their stations in Dronning Maud Land: Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, Japanese, South Africans.
The aim was the filming of the eclipse and the live transmission of it to Japan. The weather was very rough, with winds up to 30-35 meters per sec. Some days we were completely bound to our tents.
The eclipse day, 23 November, was a nice surprise–absolutely lovely windless day. We could watch the eclipse from our tent camp and to film it from the hill, the air and other points. The live transmission was very successful and my team was very happy and so was I.”
Thank you Lena for all your kindness, humour, mentorship and wisdom.