Post 30 doesn’t mean anything other than this is my 30th post, it’s certainly no reflection on my age either, you can add at least another ten to that amount! I’m quite surprised how much drivel I can write when I get the time, I’m also quite humbled that anyone reads my rantings too – I don’t think I’ll have quite so much to say when I get back to Queensland, I will mostly rattle on about how much ‘sitting about’ I’ll been doing on Stradbroke Island which won’t make quite such interesting reading I’m sorry to say.
Lots of pics today, I’ve just spent a couple of hours copying them between PC’s and laptops to take some backups and get them all in order, the life of a dull IT person…
We’ve been doing quite a bit of SAR training inbetween the holidays, rock and ice, some stretcher rigging and carrying, team co-ordination etc, all basically because when that ship sails out of here in Feb/March time next year there will only be twenty of us here to maintain the station during the Winter until next November – When that happens there is nobody to rescue us other than ourselves should anything go wrong. We’ve got a good team, all capable people and I’m comfortable that we’re well suited as a group to be able to cope…Obviously the best skill is in avoiding any problems in the first place but sometimes you can’t pre-plan everything.
We also had a ‘lake’ appear in the middle of the station from ice melt that we needed to move…A perfect opportunity for some fire training and to blast the steps clear of any remaining blizz!
I’ve been getting out and doing a bit of science work recently, drilling the sea ice to retrieve the data being stored in the tide gauges on the ocean floor, also trying to recover some equipment that was frozen into the sea ice from last year, changing and maintaining the remote cameras we use to monitor the penguin colonies and other projects too. Best to get all this work done in the summer when you can, taking a glove off in Winter can mean you’ve only got twenty seconds to do something fiddly before you get frost bite, best to have it working whilst you can still get to it!
Christmas day was cool, lots of amazing food, lots of amazing wine, lots of amazing Russian singing from our visitors and our band night wasn’t too bad either, when people get up and dance I guess they’re either doing it out of sympathy or because they’re enjoying themselves, hopefully it was the latter! New year is approaching fast, we were initially thinking of doing a band night again but it really doesn’t give us enough time to practice any new songs so we’re leaving it until a later date – Now for New Year a few of us are putting on a ‘night club experience’ evening, the plan being to block the bar area off completely with a wall, have a door in this wall so that you have to enter (obviously given the doormans approval) and inside will be a completely stripped out bar with smoke machine, lights, PA system, the full works….I’ve managed to persuade the kitchen to provide us some Kebabs that we can sell out of the back of a Hagglund early in the morning just to give it that full and authentic clubbing experience – Whether people choose to stick it under their pillow when they go to sleep is a personal option…
So, that’s the last few days or possibly even week, it’s all go at the moment, I’ve never been one to sit down and relax anyway but even this place makes me tired sometimes, there’s always something going on, I have to say though, I seem to have found a new hobby in terms of playing darts, if you’d said that to me a year ago I would have never believed you, darts is the social hub here and is hilarious, we’re also actually getting pretty good at it too..
Anyway, I will update in the New Year, have a good remaining few days of 2013, it’s been a good one!