Tuesday, January 24, 2012

46 - Boating boating and more boating..............


Hello All,

Well been a busy week with the wharf job now moving quickly, which i covered last blog, along with the boating season in full swing. This definitely has been one of the biggest highlights to my season so far and we have been in the water every opportunity we could get. Wednesday, Thursday and twice on Friday as well as working on Thursday and Friday tuckered this little one out. So here is a little video of whats happened so far.....................

video
 Video Michael Goldstein

Here are some of the pics from that video as well..........

Some Adelie Penguins on a little burgy bit just chillin............

 Pic Ben Honor
Here is some pics from the science trip we did in the boats to Kazak Island and below you can see the boats on Kazak with the Sorsdal Glassier in the background.

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Couple of the guys went for a walk up the hill to admire the view...............
 Pic Michael Goldstein

Bob wearing his Mustang Survival Suit which we use while boating. As you can imagine the water is rather cold and wearing a suit like this one reduces the chances of exposure however if you not out of the water quick enough the damage is going to be already done!!

 Pic Michael Goldstein

A couple of Skua.........they will have a go at basically anything from penguin eggs to penguins themselves to seal poo. Real scavengers....................
 Pic Michael Goldstein

A couple of the guys putting up the gear on the other side of the island. Don't really know much about what they did but from what i do understand there is a camera taking time laps pics, solar powered and it also takes weather data to correlate to the pics..................

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Cute one but then again you've seen a few in past blogs so I'm not even going to tell you what type it is!!!
 Pic Michael Goldstein

Leopard Seal lounging about with lunch all around him. The Adelie Penguins oblivious to the cunning might of this fierce predator but at the moment happy catching some rays from the sun.


 Pic Michael Goldstein

Some time ago i was told about a National Geographic photographer encountered one and the story is incredible click HERE to see the pics and video. 

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Below is a Ross seals are named for James Clark Ross, the commander of the H.M.S. Erebus, an British exploration ship that entered the Ross sea during a period of Antarctic exploration from 1839 to 1843. Ross seals may reach lengths of 2.5 m, and may weigh as much as 200 kg. Females are typically larger than males.

Ross seals look different than other seals. They have a smaller, wider head, and a short snout area. They also have a small mouth, and the shortest hair of any seal. Instead of being spotted like other seal species, Ross seals have a streaked pattern on the sides of the neck and down the throat. Sometimes the streaking pattern resembles a mask.

Ross seals are thought to number the fewest among Antarctic seal species. No long-term studies have been done on their populations, but scientists do not consider them to be threatened or endangered.
Info found http://www.buschgardens.org/wild-world/zoo-research/antarctic-study-trip/ross.htm
More pic of Ross Seals click HERE

HERE is a web site explaining the four types of seals and so far I've shown you 3 thus far and the only one remaining is the Crabeater Seal, hopefully ill get one of them before I get home for you.

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Burg in the sunset.............
 Pic Michael Goldstein

A holy one................pun intended!!

 Pic Michael Goldstein

One of the other boats in our group. To go out on an Ice Burg cruise there has to be a minimum of two boats in the group. Mainly as the other is the boat that will be helping you. Depending on where your going at times you might have to have all three, like the trip to Kazak where we needed three.
 Pic Michael Goldstein
More amazing sunsets...........................
 Pic Michael Goldstein

 Pic Michael Goldstein
If your interested in some of the science that the Australian Antarctic Division is doing in Antarctica including Davis Station CLICK HERE.

More reading with the Australian Antarctic Magazine CLICK HERE.

Interesting story in The Age about Mawson CLICK HERE.

So life continues and the darkness is now growing closer as each day passes. Until recently we haven't seen much else other than the sun but now as each day passes we are loosing on average 15 minutes of sunlight a day. The next exciting thing is going to be the Southern Lights or Arora Australis and attempt to photograph them.

Time is now running out quickly and as much as i am looking forward to leaving i am already not looking forward to leave.

Anyway hope everyone is well and holding to their new years resolutions!!

Bye for now,

Goldie


P.S................... "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength.
                      When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
                      Arnold Schwarzenegger

Monday, January 16, 2012

45 - A Classic resupply, wharfies and the beginning of the boating season.......


Hello people,

Well this week I have a little bit of a mixed bag for you and to jump right in we have the first video. There is a little bit of recap going on here as i have been able to get my hands on some footage from several different people and edit into a couple short videos for you. The first couple are of subjects past like the this one about resupply. Greg one of the Comms dudes here and my fellow Station Boating Officer but more about the latter a little bit later, Comms is a position that is quite varied but basically you need to be a computer, phone, 2 way, satellite whizz and that he is. Greg wrote a script to capture images from the web cams on station along with the ship and did a majority of the editing to make this video. All i did was put music and the fancy title and credits and make it my own, so enjoy his hard work that I'm going to take all the credit for............

video

Video Michael Goldstein

Now I know I've already covered this one as well but sometimes I get footage that is too good to miss and I've already covered that subjects and this is no exception. The Tourists and the KK or Kapitan Khlebnikov that i covered in BLOG 7. Well here is a little time laps of that day that one of the German Lidar Scientists shot from the window in the LQ..........Again enjoy Timos hard work that I'm going to take credit for!

video

Video Michael Goldstein

Boating time now and with the next little video you'll understand why I'm getting excited about that. This season I was lucky enough to have to get my Coxswains ticket before I came down. This for those of you who don't know what a Coxswain is  is a person that has a boat licence that enables them to take paying passengers in a commercial boat. Down here we use commercially  registered IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boats) to both do work (as in science or dropping people off at sites), recreation (ice berg cruises) and in both cases Coxswains and a competent crew member must be in each boat. A competent crew member is someone that has completed a internal course in the boats back in Hobart and are very handy to the Coxswains while in operation.

Along with completing this course and getting on the ice both Greg (who's handy work you have just seen in the above video) and myself have also been made the Station Boating Officers. Now that's a position that is going to make you pretty popular in the social standing here on station as its pretty darn special out on the water on a good day. One of my most memorable experiences in the three seasons i have been coming down was out on the boats last season and that is a day I will talk about for the rest of my life. You can see that day in all its pictorial glory HERE but ignore the first bit as it can be a little disturbing just go to the bottom of the page and you'll see what I'm talking about.

So Davis is very different to Casey in respect to ice. The sea ice is our friend when it comes to resupply as it makes this very easy but once the ice deteriorates to the point that nobody can go onto it then its just a nuisance. Last week we received about 5 days of 25+ knot wind from the North East. Now that's the predominate direction for the wind at Davis and digressing for a moment this is also why the buildings are all built in a North Easterly direction. This reduces the amount of blizz trails or snow accumulation around the buildings. Anyway after working through 25+ knots at about 1.5c and a wind chill of around -8c for 5 days it finally happened. I awoke one morning to find no ice and the excitement started, this would mean that soon i would be out on the water!!!!

Here is another little video where i again have been given footage from both Greg and Timo and made this little masterpiece!!!!!!!!!!

video
Video Michael Goldstein

I guess I should explain a little bit more about that Station Boating Officer. There are several positions on station such as Fire Chief, SAR leader, Medical Assistants (assisting in the event that the Doc has to preform a operation the Sparky or Plumber or Deiso will be your Anesthetist ect) are positions that we as a community fill to ensure the smooth running of activities. You soon learn that your mates are much more than just mates, you really do rely on them in certain circumstances with your lives and this is where working here is sooooooooooooo unique. I have said it before and ill say it again, i have mates back home that took a long time to forge those friendships with but down here I have now got mates that i WOULD put my life in their hands and trust that they would do the right thing.

Right enough of the dibble for this blog lets talk about work and what I've been up to. Probably the biggest project for this season here has been an extension to the wharf. There has been a core team of Kenny (who is also the Big Kahuna this season), Rowdy who if you don't know by now just look back over this season and last seasons blogs and he is in quite a few, Horse, not so much myself and a few others on the job from time to time.

video
Video Michael Goldtein

Your now almost up to speed the only other thing I have to cover it the Davis Games Grand Final night we had last night. Over the past several weeks we have been playing in a tournaments of Ping Pong, Darts, 8 Ball Pool and Poker. To give you a quick run down of my achievements in the lead up to the Grand Finals night and it is quick.

Darts was first and Nick the Wintering Lidar Scientist put me out in the first round. Ping Pong next and for some reason i think it was Johnny (fellow Gold Coaster) kicked me out in the first round. Poker was next and although i was not the first off the table I didn't make it through to the next round.Pool was marginally better making it through to the second before being booted. But there was one more game i didn't know I was in until Friday and that was doubles Ping Pong.

I was teamed up with Josef another of the German Lidar Scientists and after kicking some but in the first round i knew Josef was a gun and I was only there for my good looks. Kicking some provable in the second round against the Deiso duo Angry and Jose guess who we ultimate faced up against for the finals. My fellow Gold Coaster and nemesis Johnny who booted me out of the singles and Nick how booted me out of the first round of Darts. So after a couple of hours of sledging in the lead up to the show down it was on. Winning the serve we commenced to wipe the table of them and in the second they did the same to us. Into the last it was neck and neck all the way to 9 all out of 10 points when it went to 1 serve each where we made them crumble under then pressure and we walked away the victors and the Davis Doubles champions for the 2011-2012 season .

Here is a fue pics from the night and below is Johnny before i wiped that smile off his face..........LOL

 Picture Jan Wallace

Me and my game face..............

 Picture Jan Wallace

Cant hold it for long that the only problem.............

 Picture Jan Wallace
The winners doing all the usual handshakes.................

 Picture Jan Wallace

Glory and our little hand made trophies that Chris has spent weeks and weeks and a total of 40 minutes to make.............

 Picture Jan Wallace

Timo playing darts...........

 Picture Jan Wallace

Dave with his 8 ball trophy showing why he didn't become a bikini model...................yuck!

 Picture Jan Wallace

Another pose and I don't even want to know................

 Picture Jan Wallace

Glen one of the marine biologists and his Poker trophy.............

 Picture Jan Wallace

Big Al and Adam in the Darts showdown.................

 Picture Jan Wallace

All the trophies...............................

Picture Jan Wallace

So big weekend off the back of a big week. We have been kicking some goals in our work and now we are on the downward stretch to the Aurora Australis coming to pick us up in about 10 weeks and time is going to fly. There is so much still to fit in both work and fun. How am i possibly going to be able to do it, ahhhhhh don't you worry about that believe me i will be able to!!

Hope everyone is 1/2 as well as me and you'll be doing just fine...........

Ciao for now,

Goldie

P.S...................."Life is not so much a matter of 'finding' ourselves as it is a matter of making
                       ourselves."
                       Alan Loy McGinnis

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

44 - The silly season in Antarctica.........Christmas and New Years


Hello friends,

let me start by saying a belated MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. My greatest wish is for each and every single one of you (yes you too you know who you are) a safe, healthy wealthy and most importantly happy new year. I’m going to digress a little for a moment then ill be back on track and I have mentioned this before in my Absolute Antarctica blog but if you come down here for  the adventure, it’s been a place in your dreams, love the cold its a absolutely mind blowingly incredible place. If your intentions are however for personal development and growth then it’s the wrong reasons. That only comes as a by product of daily interaction with an amazing group of incredibly diverse and like minded people who I am so proud one of.

Being part of this did and has change my life from the moment I stepped foot on this incredible continent. It continues to allow me to grow in directions that I NEVER thought I would. Another of my wishes again for each and every one of you is to feel the same way about something, no anything even if it is something that anyone else would turn their nose up at. GET PASSIONATE about life and don’t waste it, LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST. My life before i begun work down here well, it was an existence and something I look back on now and think........................WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING! I can’t imagine life now another way, I might not be an expiditioner forever however I now have a passion I didn't even know that I had.

Saying all that makes me feel like one of those motivation speakers but those of you who know me know that I can at times be opinionated. However if my little rant only makes one of you think for one millisecond that I'm right then without you changing a thing then my job is done, don't worry it wont stop me next time ill go for making 2 people ponder life.

Life down here gives you lots to think about and the infamous rule about not talking about religion and politics is out the window here. Mainly as we all have a mutual respect and tolerance for each other. Ive talked about that word before too tolerance and yep ill say it again it is the least most understood word. Down here we don't live harmoniously all the time, however if there is a problem and we discuss it then it makes you think more about your neighbour.

Just got back from dinner and a couple games of darts. We fill a lot of time in here with darts, 8 ball/pool, ping pong, read in the library, watch movies in the cinema, socialize at the bar or just sit around and talk in the luxurious living areas. Then again there is also relaxing in our rooms but there is one thing that I don't partake much in, reading newspapers.

After the game of darts I sat in the living area and was reading an ebook where I noticed a quote from an unknown author and it reads

" Wake up and stop falling prey to the conditioning of the media and society around you. It's only those who are awake that live in a state of constant amazement."

You know its not until you take away all the continual bombardment that the media in general that you realize the impact on your life. You are only open to the media through the Internet and the papers they print out for us and that's if you put yourself in a position to it. A majority of the time only scan the newspapers at lunch and look quickly at ninemsn when on the Internet. Its amazing how much depressing stuff there is out there and when your not confronted by it all the time the difference is very noticeable. The simple things but especially how disconnected you feel from family and friends is what I miss more than anything and when talking by phone or getting emails its the little things that when talking with people back in the real world.

By real world I mean that being so disconnected you start changing your priorities which is good and bad. Good as the there is nothing wrong with a change of priorities every now and again i think it makes you reassess the ones you had. However bad as its amazing how sometimes the small things that you normally wouldn't think twice about make you blow your top. That's where a backup system, namely your mates, comes into their own and a quiet word from them telling you to pull your head in works the charm.

Well that's enough of some of my more inner thoughts for this blog I'm thinking better get on with the topics at hand, Christmas/New Year and or course lets start with Christmas and a recap of the last 3 seasons.

My first season down south (63rd ANARE will talk about a little later too) and here is me and Rowdy sorry I mean Santa.............

Pic Michael Goldstein.

Second season (64th ANARE) and here is me (in my $5 suit) and Rowdy again this time Rowdy is exhibiting a unique hair style to signify his second time on the Antarctic continent............don't know about his apron though!!!!

Pic Michael Goldstein

And here we are current from left Rowdy, Major no i mean Private Ryan as he got a demotion when he left the ranks of General Trades and changed to an Aircraft Ground Support Officer) and me again in my $5 suit.

Pic Michael Goldstein


So onto the celebrations and the day was as you would normally expect back home.............. Beautifully set tables and decorations...............

Pic Louise Carrol

Santa arrives................and yes he has a very dodgy looking reindeer towing him and an elf that looks more like a court clown!

Pic Michael Goldstein

Here is a closer look at the reindeer...................

Pic Michael Goldstein

Presents were given out................Here is Brent another Gold Coaster to digress for one second this year there are more people from the Gold Coast than ever at 3 and a heap more from Qld in general............

Pic Michael Goldstein

Another Queendlander Ben, think he was so excited about seeing Santa his legs came off..............

Pic Michael Goldstein


Then after unwrapping them we has a play................

 Pic Louise Carrol

Think Brent got a little too excited and poor old Dave..................well he took a couple but he was ok.......

 Pic Louise Carrol

Ahhhhhhh Rowdy and bubbles think he has gone back to his childhood at that moment.............

Pic Michael Goldstein

Then the food came out.........................and what a feed it was!!!!!!!!

Pic Louise Carrol

And like you guys at home we had our own heat wave going on.... ...........if you look in the background you can see a TV with the current weather outside displayed...............

Pic Louise Carrol
Just in case you cant see it..............it reads Current wind WSW 10 knots Gusting to 11 knots current temp +2.7c Dew point -2.6c wind chill -3.2c and Barometer 986 hPa and it was 4:29pm.............

It is so amazing sitting there with some new and a lot of old friends eating Christmas lunch/dinner looking at the grounded ice burgs off the station. Missing family is always there in the back of your mind however tough it might be you are soon having far too much fun eating and carrying on with all the normal shenanigans to ponder too much. That is saved for phone calls and the emails of pictures of what the family got up to for Christmas.

New Years on the other hand well take a look at the pics for yourself and you judge...........................................................

Pic Greg Wilson 

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

 Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

 Pic Greg Wilson

Pic Greg Wilson

 Pic Greg Wilson

Ben the fairy..............he is such a show off!!
 Pic Michael Goldstein

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

So there really isn't any need to elaborate too much on those pics as I'm sure you all can fill in the gaps........................was a big night! The only think i haven't got any pictures of and probably a good thing too and that was the second costume i wore. At 12 o'clock changed i got changed into what can only be described as something quite disturbing, naked man. It was a Lycra skin coloured suit with felt nipples and  leaves down there AND believe me I got the desired reactions. Mind you i personally don't think it was as bad as last years costume.

Anyway all in all I'm still having a ball down here only hoping that the Ice blows away soon so we can put the IRB's into the water and cruise some ice burgs.

Hope everyone has recovered from their New Years parties and e prosperity has already begun for them in what is going to be a wicked year!!!!

Michael


P.S...........................May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions! 
                                 Joey Adams
and as it is new years here is another...........................

..............................An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to
                              make sure the old year leaves.
                              Bill Vaughan