Antarctic Training, week 3

i actually got a photo of my kitchen yesterday, its cute! the kitchen / mess are two shipping containers joined together, so not big at all, but cosy, like a batch. i also got given a kitchen inventory, and a list of the foods I get to take, i can go through and refine it how i want or take the lot (think il take the lot!). Im meeting with a guy next week whose in charge of all the chefs, but we had a quick catch up yesterday – ive been asked to write down ANYTHING i think i may want there – so ive ordered a slow-cooker and rice cooker for a start! Im going to have more bodies than originally thought, plus i have alot of other duties to do to, so, anything that cuts down kitchen time will be advantageous – also, il be driving to casey (nearest station, 70km away) for resupplies probably once a week now (it was once every 10-14 days, but more bodies…), as we have limited storage at my base. thats predominantly an over nite journey to..

lots more people have turned up for their training, a guy who worked for andrill (the drilling operation whose umbrella i travelled under last time) is here, yay for the kiwis!
Yesterday I went to the Polar Medicine Unit and got some shots that i didnt get before i went away – Hepatitis A&B, tetanus is on order , so il get that at a later date, and I also gotta flu jab (never thought Id see the day!) but their reasoning is a) theres people on the ice already who havent been exposed to any flus from the mainland, and b) its detrimental to progress having people off sick with the flu. I recall last time i was there i had a couple of bad colds – air con in your bedroom, plus new arrivals most weeks doesnt help – and my base will get direct contact with people as they arrive from aussie (4 hour flight from Hobart). ok! jab me! :-/ kinda handy having a med unit right there tho, and a room full of doctors – take your pick!

Yesterday morning was fairly low key, but the afternoon was spent at Hobart Airport for fire training – avionics style. Bit of theory first, then let loose on fires out the back. Using ‘DCPs’ for extinguishing (dry chemical powder), first from extinguishers, then from a hose attached to a fire truck, with a ‘gun-like’ end, pull the trigger and out she blows! Yep, I did it with a supportive fireman (ie the instructor) helping me, the thing kicks like a mule when you fire it off, and its dcp transcentral as it comes out in full-force. Gets the fires out though, no doubt about it.

Monday was ice runway construction. HIghlight for me was a glaciologist who gave us a speel and showed some slides. The ‘snowflake guy’!! so interesting though, loved it. We learnt why our runway is where it is, what factors need to go into consideration etc etc. Guess what, it really wasnt just plonked down and built!

Had a low key weekend, well, saturday, sunday i went with one of my boys, to Port Arthur. Primo day so great to get out. Port Arthur has some great remains (from the penal colony days, not just ‘the shooting’), would be a great site for weddings, dance parties.. 🙂 on the way home we called into a ‘tassie devil’ place, just in time for feeding! wow, they go nuts for their dinner, which was ‘tails’, i cant remember off which animal, but looked like a hairless possum tail. Tassie devils are so cute! well, thats according to me, according to australians, theyre not. but, id still love to try one as a pet, get it into a muzzle and on a lead.. Last week was a short one, our 8 day first aid course finished on monday and we got tues and wed off (bonus!). Thursday was ‘aerodrome reporting’ and friday – out to Hobart Aerodrome for a course in ‘Aviation Radio Protocol’. Highlight for me? A sikorsky (helicopter) taking off right outside, during our lesson. Actually, its the one the aussies take down to the ice. All their squirrels were parked up outside to. Never got to see the Sikorsky pilot though, dam..

Today were doing hydraullics – for rescue. Ive learnt a lot about airbags this morning and just how safe the newer model of car is to own and drive. this arvo well go outside and playaround with airbags that are used to for lifting and separation – rubber suckers, 2.5cm thick walls, that inflate to 160psi and can lift all sorts.

xx

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