as of 142pm NZ time on friday feb 12 i’m through security ,which is much easier than at boston. my hotel room last night was nice but very small. as in 100 sq ft or less including a bed, and a bathroom. without any delay’s i should be home around midday sat. 38+ hours of flying and layovers. i’m going Christchurch-Sydney-Honolulu-LAX-Chicago-boston and then home
so i only have 10 days left down here. providing the weatehr is good i am scheduled to leave on feb 10.
yeah its been a while and iv’e been busy. heres some pictures from the christmas party, some stuff around town, penguins, icestock, tours of the two ships that i helped tie up and got a tour of, and some hiking and a snowmobile trip i got to take. the two ships are the Swedish icebreaker Oden and the oil tanker USNS Paul Buck.
its been a while since i posted. everything is going pretty good. not much is happening right now. i’ve mostly been working on Clean Burn furnaces. they burn waste oil from the heavy equipment and trucks. i spent a couple days fixing the cardboard baler. nothing i did actually fixed any problems but it just sorta started working again. i still don’t know what happened it seems like it was just a computer glitch that fixed itself.
i went on a tour of the Pressure ridges near Scott Base. the first 15 pics are from the pressure ridges. the ridges form near where the sea ice and glacial ice meet. as the two types of ice move and grow they push against each other forcing some of the ice upwards making the ridges. they come and go each yearand are constantly changing so they’re never the same.
today i went for a short hike to hutt point. this is where one of the for explorers to visit anarctica built a small building to survive the down here. the rest of the pics are from here. the bird is a skua which basically an internationally protected seagull even though its not even close to being endangered. when they dive bomb you cause your carrying food your not technically supposed to defend yourself but your also not supposed to feed them. there just annoying.
so i’m back from lake fryxell after spending a total of nine days there. the solar panel is supported by an 8in diameter steel pipe only sunk 4 feet in to permafrost. the permafrost is almost as hard a concrete but its a lot harder to drill because as you drill you create heat which melts the tailings then as they move out of the hole they refreeze and make the bit stick. the array is weighs close to two thousand pounds in all and is about 14 feet square. it took about three days to drill the hole and only one day assemble the array.
i went on a short trip to the Erebus Glacier ice tongue to see the ice caves. there was only one cave and wasn’t as impressive as people made it sound but it was still fun. we saw a few seals but no penguins.
we celebrated thanksgiving on saturday down here. they had tons of food. including turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, pies, beef tenderloin, and king crab legs(18 in long). all of it all you can eat.
i spent afew days working on the new “thaw box” for the galley. this essentially a big refrigerator used to allow frozen foods to thaw while keeping them in a safe temperature range.
i went over to the Kiwi’s (new zealand) Scott Base for a little while. its a whole lot smaller than McMurdo. there only about 50 people there compared to the 900-1000 at McMurdo. they have a nice little store with a bunch of souvenirs.
i got to go out to the McMurdo Dry Valleys for a week. i am staying at the lake fryxell field camp. i’m helping install a new solar power system and remove the old one. this involved digging a 1′ diameter hole 4′ deep. the plan was to go to 6′ feet but the ground was so hard to dig that we stopped at 4′. the pole we used was 8″D x 13′ long and weighed 400 lbs. the batteries for the system weigh in at about 90 pounds each for a total weight of around 2200 lbs. there’s internet here but no running water. to get water someone takes the atv about a 2 miles up the frozen lake to the canada glacier chips off 100 lbs or so of ice brings it back and we melt it on the oil heater.
Happy camp was fun. we didn’t do much that was new for me. we did some stuff with different kinds of tents and shelters, stove use, how to use the radios, and general cold weather survival type stuff.
not a lot going on right now. i spend most of my time doing maintenance on oil furnaces. its still cold and windy. they’re calling for a little snow tomorrow.
here are some more pictures.
work has picked up a little but still nothing overly exciting or complex. most of what i’m doing now is preventive maintenance. so the more things break the more fun i get to have. i may get to work on all sorts of equipment and misc things. everything from oil furnaces to overhead lifts to changing light bulbs. so far the weather has been pretty good. we had a small amount of snow but most of it blew away. the food isn’t too bad. its better than average dining hall food. if you have any questions about Antarctica or life down here just ask
so my first day is over. i got to do daily checks on a bunch of furnaces, replace air filters on one, i found afuel leak on one, went out to the ice runway to check furnaces out there, watched a c17 land on the ice, then i spent the rest of the day changing light bulbs. and now i understand the annoyance that is gov’t red tape.