Thursday, December 30, 2010

18 Bye bye Aroura Australis, handover and better late than never.........

Hi friends,

the time has come, everyone is shattered and resupply is over. There was a total of some 800,000 L of fuel transferred to shore and  lots of cargo come ashore and lots of RTA (Return to Australia) rubbish leave. Cargo opps and refueling opps are run a two separate operations and last year they didn't run simultaneously. This year we happened to very good weather conditions and were able to. Below is one of the last barge loads going back to the ship before she takes her passengers.


The outgoing winter crew and my friends home are to be heading home on this trip and its a surreal feeling but for them I'm sure it was very different. Last season when i arrived i soon made friends with the outgoing Winters but this season having known them for a year and having been in touch with them via facebook and email over the off season. Ross was here as the PI or Plant Inspector his job was to look after all that i brake and anything diesel powered including the generators. Ross i think was a little happy to be RTAing...........




There was also a couple extra passengers that didn't make the list that looked on...............


Then i think they were going to try their hand at driving the crane................


So as the last barge loads pf cargo and people went over to the ship there i felt a strange feeling very similar to what i felt when I left here last year but this time it wasn't me leaving. Some of the outgoing winters had changed their option from flying home to the ship as we are experiencing rather warm weather as far as Antarctica is concerned anyway. 

Daily we have been getting positive temperatures well only just positive but that is actually quite warm down here. But where the runway is located 70km inland at Wilkins. A brief description of Wilkins, 4km long ice runway. The only moving runway in the world and from what i understand the only blue ice runway meaning build on a glassier. From what i understand one of the things they follow quite closely is the ice temperature. They have senors all over the runway and when the ice reaches above -5c they get surface melt which means that in short the plane cannot land.

Right i explain this for two reasons. Firstly as the plane hasn't been yet and at this point one has been canceled and the other has been post phoned. Some people were flown into Mcmurdo and then picked up by the smaller ski equipped planes. Secondly one of the winters made a fatal mistake of making plans on his RTA which was meant to be before xmass. One of the things learnt from last season you cant make up your mind when you come or leave here Antarctica dose that for you!! So unfortunately he is currently on the ship still some days out of Hobart. LOL

The ship was now ready to leave, lets of a couple blows of its horn and as is it customary when the Aurora Australis leaves all the expitionars wave the ship with the help of flares and smoke flares to wish the safe voyage of all aboard.
All the expeditionars around the Casey street sign............

The Ship now departing the person holding the orange smoke flare is Narelle the outgoing Station Leader saying goodbye to the 63rd ANARE Winter team.

Below i though this was a good one of Narelle also.......................



So the ship finally departed here on Christmas Day and due to the face the a majority of us were feeling pretty darn second hand the usual Christmas Day feast was postponed till Tuesday the 28th

Cliff while we were helping out in the kitchen .....................
video

As usual the Chefs turned it on but before the food there was the late arrival of Santa as he hadn't forgotten us after all.........





 Kenny and I'm not exactly sure what he is doing with his legs but he looks like he is enjoying it..............



Then there were some like Nathan AKA BIG RED than i think Santa though he would sit on his leg!!




As for me well i kinda had my own style..........................


 Then the carolers came on to dazzle us with there lyrics.............and sorry boys they were better than last year!


 Now the food.......................






and that was just to start more kept coming and coming and coming.......................my we ate some food!!!
Paul did another time laps but this time in the Kitchen and it gives you a good idea of what preparation was needed for xmass day!!

video
                                                          Video : Paul Helleman

Paul did another time laps but as there was sooooooo many pictures in that one it is taking some time so ill have to add it at a later time..............

Here me and Rowdy are looking all tarted up i think Cliff too a slightly different approach to doing his hair i used gel to glue the long locks in Cliff shaved and coloured.........he is a different boy isn't he!


 The dinning arrangements..............


 Then the party took off and it was all downhill from there but alot of fun.....Edd and his famous shaker that i think was worn out by the end of the night!!


Think Cliff got the shits with the suit so off it came and a singlet and tinsel is good enough........


Pilots these days i don't know!!



This one speaks for itself.


Well I'm all types out and need to get to bed so this bit will be short.........famous last words from me huh but as another year passes so quickly i think of all the things i have done and all things still waiting to be done but most of all i think of the things i will do and the fun i will have in the year to come.

Dear Friends all the best in the New Year I'm thinking of you all, well not all at once but you know what i mean!
Michael


P.S............."No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future."
                    Anonymous