Sunday, October 31, 2010

4 Well im still here!!!

Hi All,

well here is it my current place of work, Australian Antarctic Division Head office in Kingston Tasmania. Work here is very different to any workplace that i have ever worked in. Everyone from the Director down are just sooo nice, helpful and smiling its hard to believe its a workplace. It was at this point i remembered why i enjoyed myself so much last season and why this and in fact any season anyone would enjoy it.

Training has been,  well its been different this time. Having completed the compulsory sections of the training last season it was not necessary for me to re-do much of it as i had been given exemptions for
these sections of training. But like any workplace i needed to find stuff to do. So i organized to help out in the kitting store where my good old mate Mick works when he isn't talking.........but i helped him where where i could which mainly involved restocking the shelves for the incoming expeditionars.

Another task me and Cliffy had to do was drive the Divisions truck to the other side of Hobart and pick up some stainless steal for Cliff to make something think Cliff though he was going to die on the way down but all good just touchy brakes..............Like the number plates????

 The first weekend after arriving here in Hobart we had a meeting of the 2009-10 Wilkins Infrastructure Crew with Rodney Cliff and myself driving the 2 1/2 hours to Bicheno to visit our friend Craig.
The day after.......................
Last weekend i went to St Helen's to visit some family friends, Elle and Kevin. Bay of Fires was sooooooo beautiful. I arrived on Saturday afternoon after picking up the hire car, an XR6. I copped a little flack for that as i have been a Holden man for so long but as i got the car cheep and it was going to be a little more comfortable for a generous sized man like myself than a Hyundai Getz.

Last year we had a going away party at the local Greek restaurant where all the expeditionars and their partners came after talking to Cliff about it we decided to try and get all of us there again....................was a good night. Think we actually had more expeditionars there this year as allot didn't have partners there!!

Last week was an interesting one for me as i became licensed to drive a Crane...........a 60t one at that too. Have been quite apprehensive in driving a Crane for many years as i was permanently damaged by an operator i use to work with many years ago that some of you might know.............but i figured that it was time to get over that and with the coaching of some good mentors i quickly learnt that to be a good operator you needed to take you time and watch whats happening around you................and i passed. Normal plant takes around 1-2 day to complete but the Crane took 5 days which included 2 1/2 theory and same in practical. The theory was rather full on as this is the base of what you need to know in picking up something safely. Practical was a little more fun as we were actually pushing the machines to their limits in a safe and monitored area so that we understood how the machine reacts while lifting weight.

From last seasons emails some of you might remember my tour from a fertilizer plant............well last weekend i caught up with Robbie!!!

Today me and Cliffy went out on the Peppermint Bay Cruise.................while the weather was shitty it was very nice none the less.

Have to love my new lens....................think I'm paying it back already don't you think????

Salmon farms at the mouth or the Derwent river.

On our return the weather cleared up and turned into a beautiful day..............pity it wasn't like that all day!!!
Now some of you might have heard as to whats happening down south at the moment if not take a look at this
(Thanks Donna)

Part of being an Antarctic Expeditionar means we are one family and if one of our brothers are hurt we are there to help. My heart goes out to those lost and their families we and all those nations that are in a position that can help in reuniting the families with them will i am sure.

With Australia helping the French this has and will make some changed to our program, what exactly that is going to entail time will tell but until then "hurry up and wait!"

Hope everyone is well


P.S...............For my French brothers i feel your loss
                     Death is not the greatest loss in life.
                     The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live. 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 No newby here, just another old hag i mean hand......12/10/10

Ohhh my what a day,

Firstly I'm sorry its taken me so long to put another post up but as you all can imagine its been a little hectic tying up all the loose ends including putting the rubbish out, isn't that right mum and dad! For those of you that aren't lucky enough to know that story here we all the excitement of getting out of my house i emptied the freezer out putting into the bin and promptly forgetting to take it outside to the complex bin with me when i walked out the door. It sat inside for two weeks when my parents went to check on my house they were greeted with a smell that was too bad to accurately describe, lets say the maggots were an inch long. But i assure everyone this hasn't happened this time.

After a shocking flight up departing Brisbane in almost flood and a near 3 hour delay and a change in flight plan with a 5 hour stop over in Melbourne and a final arrival of 9pm i got there. More to the point i hadn't brought the weather with me.............for a little while anyway. Currently drizzling rain and cooled off to around 17.

So turning up at the Division i actually got goose bumps and that little butterfly and now the excitement is kicking in at full steam. Cliffy picked me up so we were there early and was  good running into all these people that were so genuinely happy to see us. It really hits home how much i really enjoyed last season and how much i am going to enjoy this one. As i am now a government employee i am going to have to cut this one short and fill you all in a little more as to exactly what im up to next time.

Training continues for the next three or so weeks but my timetable is yet to be confirmed so time will tell what im up to........................................

so until then be good and don't do anything i wouldn't do!

P.S........."There must be an intangible something that draws one back to the wild wastes  of Antarctica"
                Earnest Shackleton 1913