Monday, 28 April 2014

Work days and public holidays

Bit of a mixed bag this time...

Recently had another Antarctic Easter and ANZAC day!

These can be another of those celebrations which can make people that are here miss home but I think that can also motivate people to make the most of what we have and enjoy their time on station.

Easter was great, if a little subdued. It was a huge surprise to find that Easter Bunny managed to find us all the way down here and proceeded to jump around the Sleeping Quarters leaving a trail of delicious handmade Easter Eggs and flour footprints...

Easter Bunny couldn't decide where to go next!

There aren't too many things that can put a smile on my face at 7am on a Sunday but that was pretty cool to wake up to...

ANZAC day on the other hand was far from subdued! First, we had to drag ourselves out of bed at 9:45 for our dawn service (at the moment the sun is rising about 10:15am and setting around 5:15pm). Then we had a full 'gunshot breakfast' and after migrated upstairs to put the sheep stations on the line in a few games of Two-Up. The afternoon consisted of an ANZAC movie in the cinema and drinks and Tapas in the evening. It was a great day!

10am 'Dawn' service

Two-Up was popular

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Last Blog I mentioned we had been having a bit of snow on station

The main door to our Sleeping Quarters

Compressed footprints that refuse to blow away

Snow does strange things at -20

Being a Dieso on station, one of our jobs is clearing it. Luckily we don't just have a variety of shovels at our disposal, we also have numerous machines to help us out! 

Ironically, sometimes these snow moving machines need to be rescued from the snow they are supposed to clear!

This will keep us busy!

One of the more specialised pieces of equipment we have are the 'Snow Groomers'. the versions we have are Prinoth BR350's. They are powered by 350hp CAT engines and are designed to push snow around and smooth what is left over.

Loaders pushing snow to the Dozer which is pushing snow to the Groomer...

Note the Tiller on the back which can smooth the snow

They are an incredible machine that is surprisingly light and agile but still has amazing traction in difficult conditions. They are a pretty fun machine to spend the day in.

Hard day in the office

and finally, we have finally seen a decent Aurora Australis!

It has been frustrating lately since we have been getting less and less daylight (currently losing about 10 minutes of light per day) and our 'Aurora alert' television in the mess has been lit up like a Christmas tree but we haven't been able to see the sky due to cloud. Luckily a few nights ago the sky cleared and we finally saw a healthy glow from the southern lights!

Hopefully there will be more to come!

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