Saturday, November 3, 2007

Penquins!!!!!

Our Halloween party was on Saturday 27th, it was a great time, there were prizes given away for many outfits. Melissa dressed as Wilma and I dressed as a cave man. There was music, food, and dancing through out the night.

On Sunday the 21st we had the opportunity to take a recreation trip to Scott and Shackelton’s 1911 hut at Cape Evans about 15 miles away. On the way to we encountered EMPORER PENQUINS! We watched these curious guys waddle almost a mile to check us out. They walked about 30ft away! It was a really nice first encounter. I’m really excited to see them so early in the season.

The "Delta" we took out to Cape Evans






Cape Evans Hut, Barnes Glacier in the background


Last Thursday I (Josh) got the ride of a lifetime. I was sent out to repair a broken Pisten Bully that was enroute to a remote field camp. Because it was over 50 miles away we took a helicopter out to repair the machine in the field. It was an awesome service call. I had to put together a tool kit with everything I needed, as well as try to plan for what parts I needed. The helicopter pilot was totally cool, we flew really close (and along side) huge icebergs, glaciers, and the dry valleys.


The disabled traverse equipment


My Ride

The View! Ice berg is almost 200ft high

Friday morning I received the call that the Pisten Bully I repaired yesterday was having more problems. The good news is they made it to their remote field camp, but unfortunately it was broke down again. The cool part is that Branden and I had less then an hour to talk to the people on satellite phone to diagnose the new set of problems, get tools, parts, lunch and get to the helo-hanger for a second helicopter flight, this time to Granite Harbor field camp, (80 miles away). It was really nice out there. After fixing the Pisten Bully, I also repaired there broken snowmobile.


Granite Harbor Field Camp



I had the fortunate pleasure of getting selected as the mechanic to support a traverse to Black Island. Black Island is about 35 miles away, and located there is the Telecommunication relay station, essentially a double-wide trailer house with two really big NASA satellite dishes. The entire phone, internet, and other radio communication to the outside world go through this relay station. I accompanied three vehicles as we drove to this field station to deliver supplies, return old equipment. I was only there about 2.5 hours, but I managed to replace the rear window of a D6 dozer too.

A Sea-ice pressure dome on the way to black Island


The trail to black Isalnd through rough ice

Black Island Telecommunication facility

2 comments:

mom said...

sounds like things are going good for the two of you, though josh seems to be having the more good experiences. like the pictures, more penguins please. am getting the bathtub ready for the baby penguin!!!!! though it is cold enough outside for it. Highs in the 40's for days. love mom

Dennis said...

Hi!

I'm working for a filmcompany in The Netherlands and we are doing research on the forthcoming international documentary 'Between Ears'. This will be a film by which the viewer is taken away in the discovery of the different and surprising aspects of how and why people use their mp3 players in different kind of places. You can find more info about our project on http://www.betweenears.com.

Our filmcompany is trying to get in contact with a person in Antarctica who is using a mp3 player. It's likely that some people take their portable players out to remote field camps where they may work for weeks at a time. If people climb Mount Everest with their mp3 players it would seem that there is every reason to expect scientists in Antarctica would have similar interests. Hearing ones favorite song can be very soothing when there is a complete absence of all other forms of audio/video entertainment. It's a way to feel more comfortable and less lonely for example. The mp3 player is becoming an 'emotional tool' for a lot of people.

I was wondering if maybe you have any suggestions how to come in contact with someone in Antarctica who is using a mp3 player like this. We are very interested in hearing their story about this subject.

Hope to hear from you! Thanks!

Regards,
Dennis
dgwdekker@hotmail.com