Base Camp Manager Ian Blessley Describes the Rewarding Challenges of Constructing Camp Foyle


Amazing Success as Whole Team Arrive on Day 3 of Construction

The Team Arrives

Day 3 saw further areas cleared (Pac Jodi was now under very close supervision) and the timber from the big tree being used to construct a second shelter.  After teething problems getting the design of one shelter understood, the second shelter went up quite quickly.  Time pressure from the science team meant that 5 transect cutters and Lara arrived that morning filling the camp to bursting point, and making my job very stressful.

However with the second shelter up and the promise to Martin that I would have the team on site in 3 days, a message was sent and about half an hour before dark the rest of the team arrived.  Instant chaos ensued as every bug, beetle and amphibian was chased by eager scientists, not quite aware that the camp was still far from complete.  That night a few ground rules were laid down, as I was rapidly becoming tired and frustrated.

Sickness and Addiction

Holli, Martin and Rusty were also now slightly sick after drinking some untreated water, in Tumbang Tohan after a miscommunication with the villagers. This would lay Rusty out for almost 5 days, (I managed to finish the latrine just as he recovered!).

The following morning the science teams and transect cutters headed out, leaving a slightly quieter camp, although those that had been ill remained.  As Dan was still working on the power set up Martin had to go cold turkey on his lap top addiction, so he also left camp to photograph the work that the research teams were undertaking.

All Huts Erect

That morning the “Science” tent (also living area) was given a large working table some shelving, and comms and power set up area to allow each of the team some space to store their equipment.  This rapidly became the bane of my life as the team members left rubbish about, empty coffee and tea cups (as a non tea or coffee drinker something I detest) and general mess all around.  The cook tent was also made more durable, given a table and as night closed in instructions to continue the work the next day were given out.