Saturday, 10 November 2012

Training has begun

Well, I have now moved to Tasmania and living in a nice apartment in North Hobart only a short walk to the CBD and wharf area. I am sharing the apartment with the lead wintering plumber for Mawson, so there shouldn't be a problem if the dunny blocks up. The weather has been fine, sunny, windy, raining, hailing, snowing, tornadoes but the afternoon was fine, and guess who packed shorts and T-shirts and never even thought about a rain coat or winter cloths…..ooops ! Hobart is very beautiful and like a big old country town with lots of old stone buildings and little wooden houses. The fishing port is right on the main street. One of the best things is the cheap fish & chips on the foreshore, the big juicy scallops are awesome. 

My apartment

Mt Wellington

Constitution dock

The Australian Antarctic Division facility is ultra-modern and very large and the people are all friendly and happy to help which makes a refreshing change. It’s been a long time since I've had a job where everyone is keen and happy to go to work !! There is a really good display setup for tourists in the front of the building with husky’s and sleds that Bill probably used at Mawson. Out the back are all the old machines, accommodation & equipment also possibly used by Bill. The kitting store is wicked, it’s like a Kathmandu store the size of K-mart ! Everyone is envious of me going to Mawson especially on my first trip as it is the most sort after Antarctic station with the best scenery, wild life, history, small crew and great facilities. There will only be 15 expeditioner's wintering at Mawson and this is the first time in a long time there will be no women. One of my secondary rolls will be the Environmental Officer.

Australian Antarctic Division head quarters

The Mawson wintering team will be made up of the following people;

Station leader
Senior Communications Technical Officer
Communications Technical Officer
Senior Plumber
Senior Deisel Mechanic
Deisel Mechanic
Field Training Officer
Senior Electrician
Meteorological Observer 1
Meteorological Observer 2

Training I have to comple before going South;
Kitting out (Approx. $4500 worth of clothing)
Maintenance planning (Maximo)
Polymobile X-ray operating & maintenance
MFD (Fax/Printer/Scanner) maintenance and programming
Safety at heights
Vertical rescue techniques
Windows network 2008
AAD IT Environment
Asterisk VoIP PBX
Satellite Communications
Science Briefing
ARPANSA - Nuclear air sampling
Antarctic community
Manual handling
Asbestos awareness
Quad bike training
Search & rescue
Fire training
Leadership workshop
Pre-departure training
Voyage briefing

Vertical rescue training

Vertical rescue training

The Aurora Australis has been stuck in sea ice for the past two weeks so this will probably push the shipping schedule forward for the next three voyages including V3 which is mine, which was due to sail on the 9th of January 2013. The first thing they tell you here is you must be flexible and I'm starting to understand why. If you wan't to follow my voyage to Antarctica, first to Davis station for crew change and re-supply and then onto Mawson, you can check the ships position at this web address;

The live web camera on the Aurora Australis can be viewed here;

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