Wednesday, 20 November 2013

What are all the extra people for?

When the Basler came in on the 5th November it took away five of our wintering team. The Doc, a plumber, an electrician, a deiso and my Communications Technical Officer. Off the plane came our summer crew consisting of a replacement plumber, a replacement doctor, a replacement Communications Technical Officer, two extra deiso’s and two extra electricians and a penguin biologist. 

We also got extra people only for about one month to complete two projects. A geophysicist and a field assistant that wish to install several GPS on remote Nunataks out at Richardson Lake about eight hundred kilometres south west of the station. So far the weather has been too bad for their aircraft to go out there to prove the landing so they might end up going all the way back to Canberra without doing anything. 

We also have a project manager, a glaciologist and an army surveyor who are here to do a feasibility study on the possible placement of a new hard snow ski way. So far they have only been out a couple of times and nowhere near the locations they were intending to go. If the weather improves this week they might be able to get out and complete their tasks. 

We also have an optical physicist who comes here every summer to do work on the Fabry-Perot Spectrometer. 

And finally we have an artist who has been sent down here to do paintings for a private exhibition.

Unfortunately I wasn't sent to Canberra with Chris my previous CTO to do geo-mag training before coming down here, and Chris’s replacement Richard was not trained either, so I had to do a crash course by Chris shortly before he left to keep observations happening until the new wintering crew arrive on V4 in February.

With so many people on station all having to do field training and survival training, sea ice travel training etc etc there has not been any vehicles available to get off station and it will be this way till seven of the project people fly out in about a week’s time, then with a smaller crew we can get to know the new summer crew better. 

Officially the sea ice will be closed next week even though it’s still over sixteen hundred mills thick, so I am hoping to get one more trip back out to Auster rookery to see how the Emperor penguin chicks are going. After this we need to write a JHA and have good justification and drill holes where ever we go.

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