Life at a Hundred Miles an Hour

It’s not so much the procrastinating which has stopped me blogging more the fact that I’d completely forgotten that I even ran a blog in the first place – This Summer has, like the last, taken off at a hundred miles an hour with no time to blink, sleep or go to the gym. Most peoples lifestyles operate on a work based program of activity, e.g. Work from Monday to Friday, forty hours a week with a bit of commuting thrown in to decrease the quality of life and maybe shuttle the kids between play dates and sports matches on a Saturday morning should they be so inclined. That does however leave a vast amount of time in the evenings, at weekends, and even during ‘vacations’ to plan time for yourself, sit down, breathe, watch TV and generally become a fatty, human inanimate vegetable thing. When I look at my current week here it is packed with stuff, which is admittedly all my creation and doing so complaining about it would be slightly hypocritical but I have to say I love it – Since the ship arrived on November the 5th and the influx of ‘Summerers’ have swarmed the station and life has taken a ‘work hard / play hard’ ethic that leaves little sympathy for those trying to keep up – I’ll try and summarise the things that have happened over the last six weeks…Yes that’s right, six weeks, I can barely believe that this amount of time has passed myself..

Davis Radio – The focus of a lot of my attention during Winter but we’ve still managed to deliver three shows so far, that in itself is an achievement given the circumstances – It’s not just a case of ‘pick four songs, turn up and record and we’re done’ as for me it’s about preparation, post production, artwork for the posters etc, I reckon each show costs me the same as a standard eight hour day to carry out whether its done in the evenings or across numerous days it still adds up…Some of the best pics were from our recent shows where we went and borrowed a helicopter for a while to get some shots….Make of them what you will, I’m saying nothing…

Sausage Fist – Yes you read that correctly, “Sausage Fist” is the name of the Davis Band and the reasons it goes by that name shall not be discussed within this forum but needless to say it is far less offensive than what you’re thinking right now so that makes you the inappropriate one, not me… We consist of a few band members from last Summer who’ve re-formed with some newer members to cover a cluster of songs and perform on key nights during the year – Our first ‘gig’ was on Christmas eve with nine songs to a mostly inebriated audience who were very receptive and hearing impaired due to their state…We went down fairly well and have been asked to perform again. This year has been great, we practice on average two to three evenings a week for a couple of hours, the main time consumer is ‘performance day’ when we have to move & set up the PA system to the upstairs in the LQ, it should be noted that this time one of the vehicles was ‘converted’ for marketing and publicity reasons in order to get more ticket sales on the night…This worked as we had a full house..Obviously…

Actual Comms Work – Yes, you heard me, the reason I’m down here is to do work, that’s not to say that I’m finding work overwhelming like last Summer, this year is far easier now that we’re across the systems properly but yes it does get in the way of social occasions which can be a little frustrating… We’ve had a rigging project on this Summer to replace, repair and overhaul any older or legacy equipment, one of the more fun jobs was to get heli’d up to a place called Tarbuck Crag which is where our channel 21 repeater lives and works, it’s positioned there as it’s one of the more elevated points central to the Vestfold Hills and has best coverage for groups out in the field. We went in and changed to a more efficient antennae which has now been allowing the AGSOs to work at Woop Woop via handheld VHF units and stay in touch with the station, anyway, some pics of that day.

Walking Trips – Well the sea ice is now well and truly closed, in fact as I type it is drifiting away from station this evening, about 6pm a massive crack appeared to the large section of fast ice out the front of the station that joins to Anchorage Island, within thirty minutes that crack was four metres wide and it all started to blow out assisted by the twenty knot winds – Penguins were sitting on the large patches and drifting off with little awareness of what was really going on and where they were headed.. Anyway, I digress, I’ve been getting back into heading out on foot again now that our travel options are limited to walking trips only, I’ve spent that last two Saturdays & Sundays leading a couple of groups off to both Watts & Brooks hut for some overnight stays – It’s been nice to get the exercise given that Christmas is here, I just need to find some time to do the midweek gym sessions I was doing so well at before the ship arrived!

Christmas Stuff – Well yep, put bluntly Christmas is a major upset to operations but we still need time off to relax so the festivities are more than adequately coped for, massive meals, plenty of ‘Christmas cheer’ getting poured out etc – Another side of this is the communications and media articles that go out – I’ve spent a bit of time being interviewed, editing film clips, collecting footage, photographs etc and sending them to Kingston, all taking time to get done at the end of the day. Evidently myself and one other expeditioner were on ABC national news back home on Christmas day just basically talking about the differences in spending a Christmas down here as opposed to Australia, other things include rounding up the staff to put up the decorations and filming it so that people can send the link home to family and friends…the example of that being here:

So that’s what’s been happening here to date, we’re in the little breathing hole between Christmas and New Year now, New Year is going to be pretty big which will see us building a night club again like last year, that was hilarious, lots of effort but well worth the energy as it makes for a great night – Hopefully I’ll have the chance to get out on some more walks and get rid of the extra Christmas pounds that have gathered, who knows..

Anyway, some other pics from the last few months to close off on, hopefully I’ll have more chance to get this blog updated more regularly once Christmas is over! Stay safe and Merry Christmas!!



P.S. I’ve just noticed it’s now 1 in the morning…..This is where the time goes!!




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