We continued on with more handover stuff and at one o’clock a black start test was performed on the power house which resulted in a major incident with one of the four alternators releasing a lot of smoke having a meltdown. Everybody had to muster as a fire alarm was activated and the fire team was assembled. The situation was brought under control and everybody on muster was stood down, but all electricians had to attend the scene. During this time the whole station was running on various UPS systems and eventually one by one the batteries started to go flat and we started losing services. I quickly put a generator on some of our comms equipment to maintain communications as we had helicopters in the air and the resupply was still taking place. After two hours the emergency generator was on line and stable and we started mopping up systems.
I think I learnt more in those two hours than in the past week. All electricians and diesel mechanics worked long and hard to get the blown alternator replaced with the spare in the green store and commissioned. They did a great job getting it replaced and everything back to normal. Some of the expeditioners were having second thoughts and continually looking at the red ship in the harbor.
In the evening we all got together for the handover ceremony. The outgoing station leader gave a speech and gave each of the outgoing winter expeditioners service medals and the incoming station leader was given the huge symbolic keys to the station. That night many beers were downed, guitars came out and the nutty physics professor sang his version of “wild thing”. It was a good night with many sore heads the following day.