May have been a wee while since my last post, there have been some interesting developments since then.
The Riggers were here for a maintenance visit in late January and we had a fun time doing lots of preventative work on the radio repeater sites and satellite dome structure.
This picture is of the Riggers up the 26m high Conical Monopole antenna tower repairing the wire elements, this antenna is used for the HF communications to long range science expeditions.
While we were working at a 2000 meters altitude radio repeater hut in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the weather changed quite rapidly and the helicopter was unable to return to us. We were stuck in this survival hut for a number of nights until the weather cleared, goes to show how unpredictable Antarctica can be.
Luckily we were well stocked with survival equipment and food, here is a picture of the superb meal we had consisting of Ramen noodles and dehydrated frankfurters. boiling water at this altitude at negative 20 below is a challenge and most of our water was gathered from melting snow.
In early February Sea Ice fully broke out from around Ross Island. We had open water right up to the edge of the base, this is quite special as this only happens roughly every five years.
There are some issues created by the breakout with the biggest one being that our Water Engineer was very worried that the gantry where our seawater is sucked in from would get wiped out by the floating ice.
There was an increase in visible wildlife during the breakout like this Minke Whale cruising up and down out the front of base.
Some Emperor Penguins that were hitch hiking on an ice floe. picture taken with my spotting scope at a considerable distance out the kitchen window!
More to follow.