Monday, February 28, 2011

27 Ice skating excavators, Moss with Jess, Science drinks, Leopard seal carnage and more............

Hello All,

this week as bee a very mixed week with the excitement of the first flight of the season from Wilkins. As per normal though there were a couple cancellations due to bad weather from this end but the runway was now ready. The cancellations did have a flow on effect as Rowdy was unable to work as he had put his work clothes into Warren. Warren is the furnace where food scraps and  kitchen waste are burnt to be sent back to Australia as ash. Not to mention he had also drank all his alcohol to boot...............

Anyway after a couple big nights the plane finally came and picked up all the people the station was dead silent. It was amazing the serenity around here, we were Rowdyless!!! Things aren't the same without him that is for sure. But work goes on and one of the tasks we had this week was to dig a trench under the main road through the ice to put a fibre optic cable through similar to the other one a couple blogs ago. BUT this one was a little different, all you need to ask yourself is..............Have you ever seen s excavator ice skate?

NO well have a look at the video!!

video


Now its time for moss with Jess. I mentioned a couple blogs ago about the moss down here. Well here is Jess one of the Mossies to talk about it and once you have learnt about it and how passionate they are about it it is hard not to feel the same!!

video

Time has been quickly running out on the program i have been working on as 2 of our members were due to be leaving Monday However after finishing work on Saturday we found out that it was moved forward to Sunday which put the pressure on to make sure all the loose ends had been tied up. Not that there was much more to do but it still came as a little bit o a shock. Monday we finished putting the liners down on the two remaining bio piles and it had been decided that on the No: 4 pile (yet to be named officially) that a layer of GAC (Granulated Activated Carbon) was to be layed out before any material was to be put on.......

Here is a short video about that............

video

Very shortly after that video was shoot both piles were 3/4 fulled only waiting on sampling and the secret herbs and spices to be added. But there isn't much to go now before the job will be closed for the season. Its been unreal working so closely with the science program as normally we don't really do much only a little assisting here and there but this season i was in the thick of it all season. As such when the science team decided to hold Friday night drinks we helped and proudly parked the pride of the science earth moving fleet at the front door to the science building for all to see..............


Pic: unknown

But once inside there was a another world and Timmy gave us the tour.............

video
Video: Chris Graham

Some pics from the night....................

                                                                  Pic: Ed Tormey
Al, one of the station plant operators trying one of the "Moss Samples"

                                                                   Pic: Ed Tormey
Dr Bec feeding Tyrone a syringe of something!!

                                                                   Pic: Ed Tormey
                                                                   Pic: Ed Tormey
                                                                   Pic: Ed Tormey

Whops how did that get in here......................Here is Bec the Dr i need to keep a close eye on as she has been known to be a little bit of a clumsy. Well here is the war wound from a fall she had only problem was it was a fall out of bed!!!!


The next video was a presentation to Johan and myself from the "Dirty Crew" that we had been working with which caught both me and Johan totally by surprise.

video
Video: Chris Graham

Its Official..................Dr Professor is born!!!!

                                                                  Pic: Ed Tormey

We even had streets named after us.................well no so much streets but the wall that Johan built and the road i made between the bio piles!!

                                                                  Pic: Ed Tormey

Last week there was a boating trip that captured Antarctica at its most gruesomest. Leopard Seals are one of the Alpha predators in this region. There isn't really much editorial that i can add here other than that's life down here and what the animals must do to survive. If you do have a weak stomach i suggest  that you don't look at these pics and video......................


                                                                        Pic: Tim New

                                                                        Pic: Tim New
                                                                         Pic: Tim New
                                                                        Pic: Tim New


video
Video: Unknown

The purpose of that boating trip was to put out cameras over winter taking pictures of the penguin rookeries for a science program. Don't really know alot about the program but the cameras looked like this........


                                                                         Pic: Tim New
                                                                        Pic: Tim New
The cameras were housed in those boxes with a automatic lens cap that opened only when the shot was about to take place then would close. Solar power would charge the batteries and they were set to take 2-5 shots a day. The rookeries are abandoned over winter from what i understand and being mostly night time the cameras will shut down over this time and start again once the penguins are coming back.

Its kinda ironic that this blog is numbered 27 as that's the amount of people that left us on Sunday. 27 friends departed on the second and the last flight of the season leaving just over 40 and there is a erie silence. Every morning the "Dirty Crew" has a morning meeting on the second floor overlooking the wollow. Every morning Cliff would sit in the wollow and talk with the other guys. Cliff has a voice that well lets say "stands out" and last week without him here is was well very different. Now with all the others gone the mess has been reconfigured to make it more comfortable but not seeing all the people around is a little hard to get use to.

Here is a short video of the bus departing for Wilkins Runway for the last flight..................

video
Video: Johan Mets

So the season is quickly coming to an end and my social calender is filling up so booking for the Dr Professor are going to be limited..................get in quick. I have got many thoughts as to what im going to be getting up to in the off season but i think flying by the seat of my pants is going to be taking a front seat and tell me where to go.

I received an email from Lynda one of my biggest fans.............thanks Lynda i enjoy all your emails!! ***HINT TO MY SLACKER FRIENDS***

Lynda asks: Are you considering doing a winter season way down in the great south land yet??????

Well applying for a season it a annual process and it is basically the same the second and third time as it is the first time. We are employed as non on-going employees of the division. I have put my applications in and for a couple different positions including the one i am doing now this in a effort to get that allusive winter that i so badly want!!!!

Anyway enough for this blog.....................just over 5 weeks to go and its going to fly!!

Enjoy,

Michael


P.S.......................Friends are gods way for apologizing to us for our families
                            Unknown