Archive for November, 2010

Antarctic Pre-Depature Training
November 6, 2010

Hi all,

From antarctica this time! yes, finally here.. more about  that in a minute.. im gonna fill you in on what took place for the 2.5 months build up to departure.  Im part of the aviation sector – hence trainings a tad more involved.  Elitist? Hard to say… ok, lets roll with that..

So, there was a dozen of us in aviation – chosen frozen.. (and were south now, and no ones frozen).  Two AGSO’s (aviation ground support), 4 for casey and the rest of us are wilkins crew.  Largely, plant operators, but we have a mechanic at wilkins and myself – CSO – camp support officer.  Which means.. cheffing mainly, but other duties to, ie 1st aid, cleaning, water making (melting, emptying gray water, refilling tanks with fresh water..) so, its a mixed bag.

The training in Hobart was varied.. first up, were two weeks of aviation met training. Who knew clouds were so rad!  Last year, this training was one week, this year, 2 weeks.  I like it, and this time around I ‘got it’, but still a lot to learn.  I was straight into learning mode after 6 months of cruising around to, ha! bit of a brain drain, but, as with the rest of the crew, we all passed the exams at the end.  While we’re on the ice, we will spend some time with met observers here at Casey and then get passed out on antarctica met specifics – resulting in an ‘antarctic aviation meterology’ certificate, good for two years.  We had ‘outdoor wilderness first aid’ training.  8 days of first aid, up at Ben Lomond ski area.  It was good, actually, im more and more into first aid – could lead to some ambo training down the track me thinks.. everyone passed, and I nailed it in the high 90s, stoked.  I remembered a fair bit from the previous year.. yay!

They were the longest courses – all the rest were day courses from quad bike training (have I ever laughed so much in one day? hard to say..), dangerous goods awareness, ice runway properties, fuel handling, crew resource management, community living.. and then the boys had more specific plant training, and those days I filled in with the food side of things.  Some of the training I didnt have to redo again.

So, while all this is going on, theres the preparatory side of life. what to take, pack, get ‘e-conned’ (consigned for sending) before cut off dates.  This is my 3rd trip, and I think im going to be the same as every other year – wondering why Ive  got so much stuff!! packing a fair bit in the way of supplements, but thats a good thing.

Two weeks before departure, we all get a week of for visiting family / friends.. I went back to NZ, catch up with the sisters then onto mum and dad..

Which brings me to where I am now.. on the ice, again, and its great, again!