Sunday, November 21, 2010

10 A tour of the Red Shed, Wilkins sled deja vu and jet engines........

Hello all,

As per requests on a station tour here is part one. Many thanks to Paul Deverall for giving me permission to show his video AND it saved me from doing it more to the point............

again thatks Paul should be noted that when this video was shot (dodgy as it is thanks to Pauls dodgy video techniques) it was shot in winter where there was onlly 23 on station, currently there is just over 80 so its a little different.......

So there is the red shed done i will try and do some more over the next couple weeks when i have time.

Now for the Wilkins sleds..........over winter the guys here got alot done one of those things was the new opperation building AKA Hadleys Hotel after the Manager at Wilkins.
from left to right you have Johan (Plant Operator) ME and Kenny (BSS) no that's not a typo he can be a little full of BS but his position is Wilkins Building Services Supervisor .

                                       Ray Ray ready to start the to in the Hilux....................

So here we are all connected up ready to go with me in the Challenger at the front and Gary in the D7 at the at the back as a break. After breaking the sled out the rubber tracked Challenger didn't do so good on the icy surface so after a couple false we finally got it going. However the D7 was now the lead and i was holding up the rear.

Even the Dozer needed help at one point where the other tractor needed to pull along with the D7 to get it up.......

So after Towing the Opps Building up to Penguin Pass ready for the incoming winter crew to fit it over winter we moved on to another Wilkins job which is a new building where the mechanic can work on machines. SO its a little different to all the other sleds we have built and i think the dieso will worship us when we get it up there. Wilkins is about 10deg c colder on average than us on station and when we get a blow they cop it a fair bit worse.

Dedlizzing time, last season we had built one sled and put the remanding on it which is now what we needed first.

There is was and will be at current no way known to man that we have the machines needed to get that out of there. That sled had blizzed up so bad in all the cross members and bracing that it was one with the snow. Deciding that we would take what we needed and let the sun do the work for us we too the top off and brought it down to be assembled.

                                      Kenny doing an impersonation Jean Simonds of KISS what do you think???????

All the time this was going on myself and Johan was trying to get the crane ready as it needed a little deblizzing itself.

Top right of that pic is the radiator and its is full of snow middle is the heads of the motor.

Say hello to Mr Herman Nelson....................the Herman Nelson is the yellow thing connected to the quad it pumps bloody hot air through the ducting to where ever you need it.

Herman working away................took about two hours to get the crane ready to started.

Once we got it going it was time to flip the individual pieces of the sled dig the snow off then put it together and to skip a couple pics and get to the good bits......

Cliff is still working............i cant believe it either!! LOL
Now as for the jet engines as you might recall the Antarctic Division has a chartered Airbus 319........well part of running the plane is having redundancies like in what we all do as a way of life here in Antarctica. But in the case of the airbus as it isn't here for long enough the engines are not shut down. But if they were to shut down and the on board stuff doesn't work they pull this baby out........

Now i think i got this right its a compressor off a 707...........its a jet engine that supplies air to spin the turbines fast enough to start them................

So i think that this is enough for this entry into my blog however i had a question emailed into me from Joseph Clarke asking me "did your parents visit to the BIG A.have any influence on you going to Antarctica or,......did you always want to go ?"

YES................i remember looking at their photos and thinking i HAVE to go there and ill do whatever it takes to get that stage i was working for a family friend in their quarry and only a week after seeing my parents pictures of Antarctica i happened to be looking a newspaper and there was the add that changed my life. Mind you i did get a rejection letter but it was the start think it took me another 2 years to reapply and when i did i didn't get anything back. At this stage i was working for another company and its one of those things i remember exactly what i was doing where i was when i got a phone call from the Division wanting me to go in for an interview.

Joes second question is "judging by the ice on your face after taking the photos outside,and then only for a short time I guess..................How on earth did those guys of the heroic age survive with their comparatively primitive  equipment food and shelter,especially the winter journey to Cape Crozier ,they must have been supermen."

Actually Jo i was outside for a fair while and i didn't really feel the cold except a little brain freeze..........crazy i know but the division so a excellent job of kitting us out with gear that is well suited to the climate and work we do. As for how the Heroic Age guys did...............after being here and seeing what Antarcticaca can through at someone all i can say is absolutely incredible. We have unbeleivable warm and weatherproof clothing they had very basic clothing indeed................

Will do a little more touring around the different buildings as we go on..................but enough for now must go and do something!!!!!!!!!!!


P.S................"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
                      Gerry Spence