Nothing….And Something…

Firstly the nothing…

Unlike most of the time spent here so far I’ve actually got the time to sit down tonight and write a bit, however, unlike the rest of the time I’ve actually not much to say as we’ve been pretty much locked indoors with a ‘blizz’ going outside for the past 24 hours. We’ve got a number of senior weather observers and forecasters working here as part of the Bureau of Meteorology and when an official email goes out with the unusual term of ‘atrocious’ for weather for Sunday and Monday it tends to get peoples attention…

Believe it or not we are still a government department and governed by process and policy like any other which means we’re bound to follow the standard operating procedures that are set out by the AAD. When weather meets certain conditions we follow the guidelines, at present we’re looking at 60 knot gusts (approx. 120kmph) outside which is actually still fairly operational conditions. if it was starting to gust more than 60 knots we’d have to seek permission from the station leader to go outside. Any more than 100 knots and basically nobody is allowed out. Last night I needed to get two tins of spray-paint and a six pack of cider (don’t ask…) so being the first time out for myself and Josh we thought we’d play it cautiously, he had crampons, I didn’t as I’d left mine somewhere else, the floor was pretty icy that morning so we took a small coil of rope and lashed on to each other. It wasn’t that  bad, I’ve had far worse in mountains before but it’s certainly different trying to stand on ice in those conditions…The wind tends to funnel between the buildings and gets far higher speeds at narrowed points, I can see myself having a massively bruised backside before this blizz is done.

Today we’re down to 50 knots so it was less arduous to get outside if you had to, I got to the ops building and did a few bits then popped down to the maintenance building as one of the guys was having an issue on his PC, quite funny seeing all the tradies sitting round eating biscuits and drinking tea because there’s nothing they can do outside. I reckon a storm of five days or more would make you go nuts…

Storms and blizz tend to be very warm, the temp here today was around zero so everything was on the verge of melting, gloves were wet, floors in the offices were covered in water which is a bit strange for us as usually everything is so utterly dry and cold. With that the main living quarters had a number of leaks this afternoon, lots of towels on windows and buckets in hallways catching water, having water leaks in the building also gave us a bit of humidity back, something we’ve been missing for sometime too. A bunch of electrical circuits were effected which knocked out some part of the fire alarm system, more fun for me and the electricians as we were having to set off the fire alarm to test it’s functionality whilst also telling all the staff not to muster as it was only a test…Not something we’d normally do.

Being someone with a low boredom threshold who doesn’t watch TV I needed to find something to use my time on this evening so I went and re-sprayed my quad copter (hence the requirement for spray paint….I’m still not going to tell you about the cider though). The quad copter is an unfortunate white colour, great in urban or indeed country environments where it stands out like a sore thumb and is easy to find should you mistakenly misjudge your flight path and hit a passing wildebeest. Not here though, one distant landing here could easily cost me the price of a new one and the embarrassment of having to declare an environmental incident due to local pollution involving some plastic and misguided falling electronics… For all of the reasons above I chose to spray it a dark colour to be well contrasted against the ever white background. Now, being a true bloke I liked the idea of re-spraying and saw it as a challenge to ‘pimp my quad copter’ as one does…

I should mention that Josh also owns a quad copter and was thinking along the same lines, needless to say I sprayed mine stealth black…..and errr gold….Whilst josh segmented his to use four colours and look like a court jesters jacket. If we ever lose these it will be complete bad luck as they are not very conspicuous and have likely voided the warranty. I got a few pics of mine but didn’t remember to get one of Josh’s as the paint fumes were beginning to take their toll, you get the idea though….

Now the ‘something’…

I’ve finally had the time to upload a couple of the short time lapse videos I created on the ship and when we arrived, they’re only a few minutes long each so hopefully not too taxing, let me know what you think:

And of course, more photos…

4 thoughts on “Nothing….And Something…

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