Thursday, December 16, 2010

16 SAR excersizes, bastards and how to get plastered...............

Howdy all,

Starting to get quite busy here in preparation for both the Ship which should be here some time this weekend and the first flight on the Wilkins Runway on Monday the 20th. So in preparation for that flight there were some excercises that needed to be ran which included a SAR. Tuesday it was planned for the SAR (Search and Rescue) exercise up at Wilkins Runway with support from Casey. We didn't know what time, we didn't know what but we knew it was going to happen. So i started the day as i normally telling my trusty BSS (Building Services Supervisor) where to go in no uncertain terms, as he says the day just wouldn't be the same without me telling him that and it makes me feel better too so its win win.

Soon after that i was asked to take over from one of the guys who will be flying from here to Davis shortly station and the location of the job i was doing was at the other end of the station at the wharf AND the SAR alarm goes off. So after a drive up to the station and finding the going a little harder than expected on the permafrost with rubber tyers on the loader i finally made it. Here is a short video of that drive up from the wharf.


video

So after muster in the Red Shed all the names are read out from the "fire board". This is a important board as when you leave station you have to put up your name on this board signifying that you are off station, where you are going, what vehicle you are in, what route you have taken, channel you have you VHF 2 way on and who is in your party.



You'll notice on the second from bottom line i make mention to Rowdy and the bastard that he is well il get to that later.

There is also a slightly different board in the Comms building that basically reads the same. So after it has been found that all the people are accounted for the SAR team was gathered on the Opps building and a plan was formulated. Myself, Rowdy and Terv who you might remember from such videos as the tour of the brew house were chosen to drive a Hagg up the hill to pick up two people who had be apparently injured for our scenario.

Anyhow after the meeting it was a mad rush to get all the necessary gear together for the transport, we had no idea how long our exercise was going to run so we planned ahead packing lunch coffee and all the goodies including the all important Tim Tams! The other guys prepared the Hagg with all the cold weather gear that would be needed for transport someone and by the time they had done that we were ready to go. So loading up our personal survival bags that you don't leave station without, some extra layers and off we went departing station within 30min after the meeting. We ended up making it past A08 which is about 10km off station up the plateau before we got word to turn around the exercise was over. Deciding that we needed a debrief along with some food we stopped up top to admire the view before making our way back.


Now as for the bastards bit, as you all might remember my blog "12 When hell froze over....." it was quite an amazing trip. Well my old mate Cliff AKA Rowdy and is also know now as bastard as he also made it out there last weekend AND not only did he see all that i did but he also got to see Emperor Penguins and a Leopard Seal.............................BASTARD and to make things even worse the Ship Aurora Australis is due in here on Friday night for resupply. Meaning that NOBODY will be allowed anywhere AND the melt has kicked off and i don't think anyone will be making the trip until the cool change at the end of the season now.

The Bastard was kind enough to give me some pics to share though!!

 Pic: Rowdy

Emperor Penguins looks like to adult and one juvenile and Rowdy just couldn't stop rubbing my nose in it!!

 Pic: Rowdy
 Pic: Rowdy
Pic: Rowdy
 Pic: David Barringhaus

An Adelie Penguin just for comparison.

  Pic: David Barringhaus

Clouds over the Vanderford Glacier....................the boys even heard the bits of the Glacier braking off.
 Pic: David Barringhaus

The next picture is a bunch of Adelie Penguins giving the Alpha predatorr in Antarctica a hard time, would have nee interesting to see. Apparently they made the Leopard Seal retreat into the water.

 Pic: Rowdy

Snow Petrel are also nesting everywhere at the moment and you'll normally find them in between the rocks. You'll know when you get too close they let you know!!
Find out more about Petrels HERE!!!!!!!!!
Pic: Rowdy

So all in all i was rather envious about Rowdys trip and after being told about the wildlife they saw i made a bee line to Narelle (Station Leader) to find out if there was time before resupply for me to get out there again. But unfortunately i am FAR TOO important to go off station well I'm sure that what she meant when she told me no and that's my story and I'm sticking to it anyway.

An oportunity came up to get plastered this week and i know its bad to get plastered through the week but the the incoming wintering Doctor Kate was on hand to make sure we were doing it right.

video

Think Tim was having FAR TOO much fun inflicting pain here!!!!

video

Don our ESS (Engineering Services Supervisor AKA tradies boss) getting ready for a arm plaster.


 Think they got a little confused but was going to make it an easy day at work if they had have huh.


Trevor plastering a beer bottle.........................i know he is the wintering CTO (CommunicationsTechnical Officer) and i think its going to be a LOOOOOONG winter isn't it!




All the suckers lined up in a row .............i was the only one to be game enough to do my leg it must be said!


See what happens when you get someone to sign your plaster down here..............



With resupply around the corner its a bit chaotic at the moment with all the different types of containers being moved around and organized for their RTA (Return to Australia). With the ships arrival it is going to change the dynamics on station with many good mates leaving to go home and be with family after their long winter and many new friends arriving. Among them will be the incoming Station Leader Dave, the outgoing Station Leader will be staying on for a little bit until Dave finds his way before the official hand over. Than there is the round trippers that come for science, watercraft operators off the ship or as part of the management of the division.

So next week you'll be getting a blog that will revolve around resupply and for those of you that missed it in my second blog i had a link to the AAD's web site where there is a video and short story about whats involved in a Australian Antarctic Stations resupply.


Well i would say I'm missing all of you and the weather but when i was talking to Mum and Dad tonight Gold Coast was about to get a thunder storm AND besides that I'm having WAY WAY to much fun down here!!

Hope everyone is well, take care

Michael

P.S............"Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth -- a sense of
               humor."
                   Source Unknown