Archive for October, 2009

AAD Week 5
October 8, 2009

as im sitting on my flight back to hobart.. just had four and a half days in nz to say goodbye to family.. its now less than a month til i go to the ice again, YAY! october 26th is ‘D-day’. And ive since found out that we have to check in at 0500 for an 0700 take off – airport pick up is at 0400… crikey..

last friday we had our famil on the A319 that well be flying down in, the same plane thats going to land at my base once our season is up and running. Lots of legroom in it for passengers – we’re all first-class by the look of things! Its a direct flight from Hobart to McMurdo (the american base) of around 5 hours. Well be at McMurdo for up to a week – weather dependent basically. But thats ok, I know my way around that place from the last time i went south. Visiting Scott Base is pretty much off the cards – no worries, Ive got some of them coming to see me, sweet!

Im not in training every day in Hobart, certainly some down days – especially as Im not required to do the same ‘tickets’ as the guys who work on machinery. I did do the compulsory drug test last week – the best pee into a jar I’ve ever done, AND thats with a pathologist watching while I went. Bit of ‘performance anxiety’ at first, but then I was away laughing.

I’ve had a week of Met Service, pertaining to aviation. Aviation weather readings come out as about 4 rows of numbers and letters – and they make sense now! True to my self-proclaimed rapper self styles.. I composed a rap about the weather.. ha!

I had a tour on the Icebreaker ship, a few weekends back, that the aussies use for transport to and from the ice. And no, its not made out of merino – but it does break the ice. I am kinda gutted Im not going at least one way on that, but at least I’ve had a good look around it.

So, now Im fully able to answer the burning question – WHY is my training in Hobart, pre-departure, so long.. Its purely because by working at Wilkins Aerodrome, Im in aviation. So alot of the training has been specific for that. Radio Protocol, heli-sling loading, aviation fuel, aviation safety, rescue, weather, first aid etc. I’ve gone to some of the chef specific things on days when Im not required in aviation. After about 3 weeks from arrival, well go onto night shift, as the plane will be scheduled for 4am arrivals. I always found the light at night so much better last time I was south, so Im all over night shifts – especially with no darkness, shouldn’t be too hard to adjust to.

I won’t be just cooking this time around. As ‘camp support’ Il have other duties like cleaning, weather reading, resupply trips to Casey station, emptying old water / waste and getting snow for melt – how we get our water.
On fly days, Il be assisting with marshalling of the arrivees – making sure they stay where they’re meant to! A doctor from casey comes down each fly day to stand-by in the ‘med tent’.

I hope this answers those burning questions y’all may have had! In the meantime, Il be ticking along in Hobart, preparing, sorting my stuff out.. 55kg IS the limit for personal belongings, and our 20kg of survival gear is included in that total. No worries, Ive packed light before, I can do it again, especially after Scott Base when I took WAY too much shit with me!