Coming to a Conclusion….

Time is running away here now, I’m starting to get that sense of impending change on the horizon, the sort of feeling that everything that can be achieved here has now been achieved and that it’s time to move on to the next chapter. Christmas and New Year flew past along with some fun events that I got involved in to some extent or another, whether it be playing in the band or DJing at New Years but that is really it for now – The milestone events for this Summer are now concluded in my eyes as we now start the wind down to the arrival of the ship. From a logistical perspective the ship arrival date is flexible though is planned to get us into Hobart for the 6th of April. The current plan with the ship is for it to leave Hobart on the 28th of Jan and head to Mawson station to commence it’s resupply on or around the 11th of Feb, last year Mawson had so much sea ice that it wasn’t possible to fully resupply the station and only essential equipment was shuttled there by heli from the back of the ship whilst it waited 70nm offshore. With the hiccups of last year fresh in the minds of Kingston more contingency has been thrown into the Mawson mix this year which means there are five weeks proposed to either break through the expected sea ice or conduct a full heli resupply to the station – At present it looks like there’s now only about 13nm of sea ice out the front of Mawson and rumours (I’m creating a rumour here based on no sound knowledge!) have it that this is fairly broken which may mean that the ship can get straight there and run a standard resupply time of only a week or so…Why am I telling you all this? Well the ship comes straight to us after it’s visited Mawson and collects us to head home…..I’m making the guesstimation at this point that we’re likely to be on that ship earlier than planned, that said, this is an expedition, we remain flexible and we’ll see what the outcome is when the ship gets here….

What next then? Well this has been on my mind for a little while now, I really can’t see myself going back to the standard office environment that I’ve been familiar with for the past ten years, I’ve always found offices stifling & soulless places and sadly they’re usually populated with people who match the same description – Whether the office made them that way or whether they made the offices that way I’ve never really determined but I don’t want to hang around long enough to find out. I’ve been toying with numerous ideas, learning to fly again, joining the military, buying a bit of land outright and living like a vagrant – Maybe joining the circus or becoming a rock star could be options though the talent is somewhat lacking, time will tell…

We’ve had a couple of days work this week out at Brooks Hut & Bandits hut changing out some cables, checking antennaes etc – The good part was being airlifted and not having to walk in like last year, not that I mind a walk at all but carrying a 100m drum of cable isn’t my idea of fun to be honest..

Some pics of work from this week:

We had a visit yesterday from ‘Skier 41’ from McMurdo which is the large American base over near the Ross Ice Shelf, This was a proving flight at our skiway up at Woop Woop to ensure that everything was up to scratch, the guys arrived, drank our beer, gave out lots of stickers and left the next morning, they were a good bunch so we hope to see more of them in future.

Skier 41

There’ve been a few more walking trips around the Vestfolds too, I’ve had three weekends out this Summer so far and am making the most of the time I’ve got left here, I’m planning a long one next weekend for Australia Day and am hoping to get to a place called ‘Cataract Canyon’ which nobody has got across too since I’ve been here, it’ll be nice to get that one crossed off the list before I leave. Next week will be four days out and the likelihood of bivvying due to not being near any huts, it’ll be nice to do a bit of basic camping again, all this ‘hutting’ malarky is making me a bit soft in my old age…

Walking Pics:

Other news, well the sea ice finally left us, it broke up over a few days with some large tides and then slowly drifted in and out of the bay for a while, this made for some great pics and good places for the Penguins to sit as they moved up and down with little effort. The ice has all gone now so they have started running up and down the beach for something to do, the elephant seals are starting to visit the beach now also which will bring that all too familiar smell back unfortunately

Anyway, a brief update but it was about time I put some more stuff up online, probably the next one will be about the amount of packing I have to do in order to get all my stuff back home….It’s going to be interesting working out what exactly of my many things will be selected to be my ‘favourites’ to stay within the 32kg limit for on the ship…

Bye for now

Stu

 

 

 

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