Wednesday, March 14, 2012

48 - A weekend at Bandits


Hello Friends,

well we are currently in the closing stages of the 65 ANARE/ 2011-12 Summer season. The Aurora Australis AKA the orange taxi is 400nmi from Hobart on its way beck in from a successful resupply at /Mawson (Short story on that resupply clihk HERE). Saturday 17/03/12 in theory it should be departing on V5 which will be a Summer expositionars pick up for both Davis and Casey. Takes about 10-12 days go get here then after a loading up we should be a 5-7 day sail to Casey and a further 7-8 days to Hobart. Now notice that I mentioned "in theory" as nothing goes like you think it dose down here. As i mentioned last season its the "A (Antarctic) Factor", take last season for example. On their way to pick up the summerers from here the ship was beset (stuck fast) in ice for 4 days in a blizzard sooooooo it will happen when it happens.

Now onto a little bit of more meaty stuff........The weekend before last a group including Rowdy, Horse, Baker and myself went to a field hut called Bandits. Below is a little video from that weekend..................Enjoy!

video
Video Michael Goldstein

Here are a few pics from the Video.......................Below from left to right you have Mark "Barry Gibb" Baker, Davis "Horse' Barringhaus, Cliff "Rowdy" Simpson-Davis and me.

 Pic Michael Goldstein

The view over Bandits hut with the grounded ice bergs in the background. Bandits is a small island and as you would have noticed from the video that the mode of transport we got there in was a chopper. Well over summer and until the sea ice freezes again that is the only way other than a IRB.

  Pic Michael Goldstein

The island is made up of this black rock that has been eroded into these beautiful almost sculptor type formations.
  Pic Michael Goldstein

A rather grumpy Adelie penguin going through his molt. Adelies go through this after their breeding season where they totally replace all their feathers. They have quite alot too, about 100 per square inch so as you can imagine when they loose them there are feathers flying everywhere. The molt normally takes about 15-25 days and they are grumpy as hell. Think it might be because they are self conscious at that time.............................more interesting info on Adelies can be found HERE

  Pic Michael Goldstein

A Snow Petrel hiding in a crack. These guys are one of the most beautiful birds to watch flying around..........have a look HERE there is a link to more info and a little video.

 Pic Michael Goldstein

Lately we have been getting some wicked light shows. No Pink Floyd isn't playing down here its the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis. Have a look at how wicked this looks!

video
Video Michael Goldstein

While trolling the Internet this week a couple videos were the first one is of a iceberg implosion. I found this one one ninemsn but here its off youtube..............pretty self explanatory as to why we keep out distances when you see this one!!!

This one is very interesting of what can and dose happen under the ice down here...............

The last little link I wanted to add before I slowly wind up was about a massive Algal bloom that is happening down here currently. So big that if you have a look at THIS LINK that the bloom can be seen from space. I happened to be spotted at the same time as the ship was heading home from the Mawson resupply so they diverted to go and get some samples from the bloom for analysis. Digressing for a moment but we have a team here studying the Elephant Seals on station. Part of what they do is put trackers on them which last about 12 months. One of the Ele seals has been tracked and spent alot of time in this Algal bloom area so it must be very rich in food but more info will come out one the samples have been analyzed i guess.

Talking about Elephant seals i got up early well i couldn't seep to be honest so i went out and took some pics of the sunrise and the big fellas here they are...........

Winter is definitely almost upon is with the water very quickly in the last week or so turning into pancake ice but yet so amazing to see with sunrise and ice bergs as a back drop.

Pic Michael Goldstein 
The ice.............
Pic Michael Goldstein 
Two of the little fellas having a bit of a play fight. You will notice they both have boxes on their heads with antennas on them. These are the trackers i was talking about.
Pic Michael Goldstein 

Cold nup they seem to love it even if they do have to break the ice to get in!!
Pic Michael Goldstein 

This one was falling asleep in there..............

Pic Michael Goldstein 

Anyway hope you enjoyed this blog. Got some interesting things happening over the next week of so and as time quickly runs out on this season so is the work. I will probably only get one more blog in from the ice but I'm sure it will be a good one......................

So until then be good,

Michael

P.S............. "Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what
                 you know."
                 Jim Rohn

P.S.S............Just got back in from outside and its rockin out there here is a couple I just took........
 Pic Michael Goldstein

 Pic Michael Goldstein