Saturday, July 28, 2007

Motley Crew

A group photo of some of the volunteers who carried the batteries to the top of Reptile Ridge.

Cold Days

It is so crisp and clear the air as fresh as anything.

Frosty Sno-cats

One of many of our transmitters

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Long Haul

Today 11 of us carried 8 batteries and parts of a repeater to the top of Reptile Ridge to replace the old batteries etc. They each weighed 36kg.

It was a long haul over difficult terrain ranging from powder snow ,slab snow ,Ice and loose rocks.

Near the top with Jenny Island in the back ground.

Unloading the batteries ,we will leave the old ones there to be picked up by helicopter in summer.

Good effort everyone.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Positive difference (NOT)

Today two Positive difference awards were given out by HQ rather than it making a positive difference on base it has done quite the opposite. Apart from the two who received one
(well done Jim E and Rich L) everyone else feels cheated as everyone does above what is required of them either helping other people out at work or at week ends.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's Official the Sun is up

It is now official the sun comes above the horizon so Spring is on it's way.

Today we have the flag ceremony where the old Union Jack is taken down and the new one put up.
I am on gash today which is where you have to do the dishes and generally clean the base.
"Lucky You" I hear you say.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Another week gone, it was a bit of a frantic week work wise there is so much pressure when things go wrong as pipes freeze or people are with out water or heating.
In these temperatures you don't have long to work outside.

The landscape is now changing once again now the sea has frozen the white wilderness has stretched to the horizon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frozen seas

The sea has now frozen all around our base and as far as the eye can see.
I know I use the word Beautiful a lot but no words can describe the scenery or colours that we get here in Antarctica.


-18 and a beautiful day

Another cold but beautiful day, at -18 it doesn't take long to freeze your exposed skin.

The Ice that forms on everything is so delicate and very pretty .

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Snow Flakes

We had a light covering of snow last night as you can see here you can actually see the individual snow fakes.
Each one different no two the same.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marine Biology

These are some of the creatures that are studied down here. They are trying to find out if the rise in sea temperature will effect the animals.
(Above Antarctic Cod)

Brittle stars.


Shrimps and sponges.
For more info on the life of a Marine biologist see Alison's blog link.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Still feel so lucky

The views from base still make me feel so lucky.

The colours are amazing at this time of year.

Another fine mess.

Due to aging equipment problems are happening more frequent now, the photo is of the sludge hopper which the outlet keeps blocking with rust from the tank.
Unblocking it is a very messy job.

Not only did the both hoppers block but both sump pumps also stopped working.

I am greatful to those who help out without complaining.

And Tris who was looking for anything interesting.

As you can see messy.
All in a days work.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

So cold it was painful.

Today was a bitter day, we decided to go around the point but we got to the cross and turned back as it was below -45 with wind chill. It felt as if my cheeks were burning and the water droplets in my eyes caused by the wind froze so we thought it was best to go and watch a movie.
Tonight we are having a beach party.

Antarctic sunset (Jan)

This is a video that I took of an Antarctic sunset, the sky was just such an amazing colour.
Fiery red.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fire Training

Today I have been training the other base members on search and rescue techniques in case there is ever a fire.
I was a Fire Fighter with Central Scotland Fire and Rescue service for 5 years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Me Racing around on a skidoo again up at Vals.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Gentoo Penguins (Falkland Isles)

This Video shows me in a Gentoo penguin colony in the Falkland Isles.
(shot in December)

Snowboarding at Vals (April)

This video is of Scott and I snowboarding at Vals
(Narrated by Jim)

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Well it's the weekend now and what a busy week it's been with the pipes freezing and the boilers breaking down along with all the other jobs, so Scott, Ken, Andy and myself went a walk around the point most of the sea is frozen in shore so there is very little wild life left. There were a few Fur seals and three Adelie penguins.
Hi to my family.

Live Earth Debut of Nunatak

Nunatak debut on LIVE EARTH concert world wide today.
Will the base ever be the same again living with such stars, there video was played along with stars such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Duran Duran and the Beastie Boys.
Could I be living with the next Oasis only time will tell.

For more info on band click here

Thursday, July 05, 2007

More problems !

Our base received a contaminated batch of fuel, the fuel is used to derive the generators and to burn in the heating boilers. Today two of the boilers had stopped working in Bransfield house, they were all clogged with fine particle matter. As you can see in the picture below of a oil injector.
So all three boilers had to be stripped and cleaned.
There are 11 boilers on this base.

Blocked injector.

Never mind a beautiful sky again.
There is always something positive in the day.

Frozen times ahead

A thick layer of ice on the outside of a pipe.

Its funny how the drifts always seam to form in front of doors.

An Air filter full of snow that was blown into the fan.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Not all fun and games.

The last two days the temperature has been -18.5 and blowing a gale (with wind chill -55).
In temperatures like this it doesn't take long for anything to freeze. So, two pipes that take waste water from our living accommodation to the treatment plant froze not out side but inside the building, meaning that the holding tanks overflowed and we could not use the wc ,shower or any water till it was sorted. So we took the pipes out from the outside and de frosted them, as I was re fitting them one of the out side pipes froze and no sooner as I poured hot water on it as it was frozen again to the point my hand stuck to the pipe.

So in the end we had to insulate the pipes and cover them up as it was far to cold to stay out any longer.
So Andy and I went in and cleared all the pipes or grime that had built up over the last few years.
DIRTY JOB, But some one has to do it.Unfortunately it's me.

After I went in and scrubbed the pit clean.

Working in an environment such as this you expect frozen pipes etc.

You just have to deal with it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Weddell Seal Video

This Video is of a Weddell seal, hopefully we will see a couple of Weddell seal pups soon.
We also still have a few Fur seals, Crabeater seals and a Leopard seal around the point.
As the sea freezes we get fewer seals.
(Video courtesy of Rob Webster)

Midnight walk around the point.

Scott,Kenny and I went for a midnight walk around the point, it was a full moon so the visibility was fantastic. It was so still you could hear the sea ice creaking and the seals coming up to their blow holes to breath.

It looks like a different planet.
We also saw a shooting star.