Friday, November 30, 2007

Tank Cleaning

Well the pigging went well the refuel pipes are now clean so we have moved back to the fuel tanks.

This is a photo of the wax and contaminant left after the marine gas oil was filtered.
We pumped out over 150 drums out of this tank all will be sent back to the UK for disposal.

The team.
Me ,Matt, Scott and Jack.

Alan reversing a trailer load of barrels ready for filling.

A birds eye view of the operation.

Scott inside cleaning the tank while I was out side supervising , also in Breathing apparatus in case anything happened to Scott.
Just two more tanks to do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Tightening up the pig launcher then a hose will pump fuel down behind the pig and the pressure pushes it to the pig catcher.

Scott opening the valve to the pig catcher.

Retrieving the pig.

Fuel farm

I've been slow updating my blog recently as We have all been busy cleaning the contaminated fuel we had in last year.
Pictured above is the filter unit.

This is a photo of wax that kept blocking our filter so now we are putting it in drums which will be sent back to the UK.

Scott and Matt (new genny mech) with the break tank.

This is the 4" fuel pipe that we are pigging to clean the inside of it.

The cleaning pig(orange) and the red one scrapes the dirt out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

M/S Explorer

Yesterday the M/S Explorer hit a Ice burg just south of The South Shetland Islands all the passengers and crew were rescued.
In the early hours of this morning the ship sank.

It shows how dangerous it is to sail in this area.

The rescue.

Listing at about 45 degrees

Although this ship was designed for Arctic travel it is not a Ice breaker with a strengthened hull but this is not uncommon as with most ships it will have the technology to avoid ice flows but Growlers which this ship might of hit is a large piece of ice totally transparent and due to its density sits very low in the water barely visible from the surface.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A busy week

What a week so far trying to sort the contaminated fuel problem at the fuel farm and all the other jobs that seem to be mounting up while this is being done.
My nemesis is the Kryotherm unit for which we have no spares and is very important for the marine experiments as some scientists only come down for a week or two and if they can't do their experiments their research for that year could have to stop, but hay ho no pressure.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Snowboarding at Carvajal

This photo is me snowboarding down the glacier at Carvajal on my last winter trip, what a back drop the frozen sea and burgs.

My new Apprentice

Scott Blowman my new apprentice, thrown straight in at the deep end with a job in the STP and a Grifter service (POO Pump).
Also today we save the day by mending the Kryotherm unit which is used to freeze scientists and they will be defrosted in the year 2020.
We've had such a laugh since he's been here it is now obvious that all plumbers are the same and have the same training in life experience.
Unlike Scott I never appeared on plumbers from hell but I suppose we all can't be famous.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Faces

We have had a lot of new faces on base including my replacement Scott, Some are away doing field training and a couple of the Field Ga's are already in the field like Feargil who is at Pine Island glacier.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Air Unit cont....

Tittus is a pilot from Greenland, we also have pilots from Canada, Belgium and the Uk.

Kyle and Jamie are both Air mechs.

I have flown with most of the pilots and they are all first class, they all have different back grounds from airline pilots to jet fighter pilots.


Air Unit

Our main transport around Antarctica is by air we have 4 Twin Otters and 1 Dash 7, these are maintained and flown by the air unit. Each year these planes fly down from Canada where they are based.

Geoff one of our pilots refreshing his rope rescue , he used to fly helicopters for the Army air unit.

Rags and the Rev are air mechs Rags is from Canada and the Rev is from the States.

Dash 7 our largest plane.

Loading a twin otter ready for the field.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sky Blu - Rothera

This was the midnight sun.

Amazing to see.

Looking down at Adelaide Island from 15000 feet.

The black line is the runway at Rothera.
I am back just in time for a shower ,shave, change of clothes and a beer.

Castle-Sky Blu- Fossil Bluff- Sky Blu

When flying to Fossil Bluff you pass some amazing scenery.

Ice Crystals on a drum of fuel.
Below a Video when flying past some mountains.

Pine Island - Castle

Castle Depot manned by Liz and Dicky.
Castle Depot is near the Ellsworth Mountains

The only people for hundreds of miles.

Back at Sky Blu the plane tide down for the night due to strong winds.

Pine Island Glacier

As you can see it was cold in the tent when I woke my sleeping bag was covered in ice where my breath touched .

Setting up the solar panels.

The camp all set up.

Sky Blu - Pine Island Glacier

Taking off from Sky Blu's blue ice runway heading for matrix on Pine island glacier.

Matrix is the depot on Pine Island Glacier this glacier moves 3 m every day closer to the sea and is speeding up the scientists we dropped off are studying this to see if it is due to global warming.
Matrix is 2200 feet above sea level.

Unloading all the kit, they need so much kit as they will live here for 3-4 months.

Digging out the old depot which was buried under 2 m of snow.

My tent for the night a V25, I had this all to my self.
The pilot I flew with was Nico a Belgium Pilot , he is very good.