Archive for July, 2011


Too beautiful

July 31, 2011   

Stunning blue sky today – picture of my kit with Sugar Top behind (large mountain to the left)

Today was too beautiful to stay inside with a headache so I took paracetamol and headed for Gull Lake. Unfortunately for the movie makers they ended up staying inside editing on the computer so I was on my own on the slopes overlooking the cove. I stopped at Shackleton’s grave to soak up some rays of sun.

I skinned up alongside the waterfall and then had to remove my skis to front point up a very steep portion. Once up to Gull Lake which is frozen over I did a circuit along the shore of the lake which was beautiful snow conditions.

Skinning self portrait!

While sitting in the sun having lunch looking over the pancake ice covered cove Pat and Sarah skinned by on their way to Penguin River.

Pat and Sarah far below. The next person tempted out was Tommy for some snow boarding to the left of the track. The conditions were absolutely beautiful and I did two runs before the sun went below the mountains leaving the slope in the shade. I decided it was time to retire to the boatshed ramp where the sun stayed a a while longer. Tommy kept up the snowboarding.

What a stunning day.

All Quiet

July 28, 2011   

Not a lot to report today. Yesterday we had some boating in the morning with an inspection to do and then after a skin had boat school in the afternoon. I taught a session on electronic nav aids and the use of radar, GPS, RDF, AIS etc. after a session in the dining room we went down to the jet boats and everyone had a play with the instruments.

Sam’s picture yesterday when we were skinning from Grytviken looking out of the Cove. With the settled weather we have quite a bit of pancake ice and nilas in the cove.

Today was blustery and cold (-7C) with snow showers however, at 2pm I forced myself out into the driving snow and limited visibility for my daily skin. I only went as far as the museum and not onto the hydro. It was a day of paperwork filling in people’s training logs and rewriting the syllabus. I have also been writing up boat school notes for the next boating officers to use or delete!

Matt will be staying on for another year as will Tommy, Al and Katie who will not have left the island for 26 months by the time they leave. In a bid to save money BAS and the South Georgia government have decided not to replace me until April and at that point Paula (boatwomen I replaced) who was here for 26 months will return for an 8 month stint. So Matt and Paula will be training the three people who are coming to base in October/November – a new base commander, mechanic and docter.

Tomorrow I am on earlies again so it is time for early bed I shall make fish and chips. I pro

Hauling and night boating

July 26, 2011   

Today started off slowly with a bunch of emails regarding orders to come in at first call (that is when the BAS ship comes in with our supplies for the year) and also some risk assessments to check over (pretty boring stuff). Then the fun started 🙂 Sam, Tommy and I took off with the new SAR sledge to test the adjustments that I had made as well as see if crossing the hauling bars helps with steerage and control. So two hours of energetic man hauling along the track and up and down Gull Lake track taught us quite a bit. We loaded the pulk with some books to leave at the museum and then some heavy harpoon heads to pull back to base.

This evening we had a little bit of night boating action where Tommy was thrown in at the deep end as cox. He did a wonderful job despite anchoring the jet boat to a kelp bed – which to be honest was hard to see in the dark covered in sea ice. A little bit later after knifing the kelp (cold water to put your arm into!) and pulling some large strands out of the jet unit we were out of there and on our way to pick Ali up off the ship. Matt Boat has stayed aboard to do the trawls for Katie as she is still out on the San Aspiring (fishing vessel).

Cooking day again

July 25, 2011   

With only seven on base earlies are coming up quickly so I had to come up with something to serve the masses. With Ali and Matt going out tomorrow we will be down to five. We were called out to the reefer in the bay with Dr. Sam for a consultation at smoko time.
Just before I pulled some pumpkin cookies out of the oven. Yes we still have pumpkin puree left!

This is the view from the jet boat window on the way back from the reefer. We took Sam and Pat out came back for a cup of tea (for Ali as I don’t partake in the British national drink) and a bit of cooking then back out to pick them up just before lunch.

I plated up dinner instead of putting it as self service. The menu was pork loin wrapped in bacon with a cider reduction (made with stock made from the pork cutoffs), jullianed (spelling?) carrots with cumin, lemon juice and butter, polenta biscuits with homemade tomotoe sauce, spinach and mozarella cheese and a baked apple with brown sugar and sage.

The snow was still around as it has stayed cold so at lunch I went for a skin around Grytviken and just before dinner squeezed in a trip to the gym.

All White

July 24, 2011   

It has been a day of white. White snow, white fog, white sheets of paperwork and white paint. I am still not feeling very well but forced myself after spending all morning doing paperwork to go for a hike. Mum collects and opens all my mail in the US from a friend who very kindly empties my PO Box. This means that once every few months I receive a very long email from my secretary (Mum) with problems to solve and bills to pay. This month was exceptional as there was a lot of junk mail so I spent a long while emailing companies telling them to stop sending me marketing material – time will tell if that worked! All boring I know. So onto the next white…

This is me at Deadmans normally the view behind me would be down cardiac hill to the Maiviken Lake and the beaches beyond. However, as you can see when I got to the col it was very limited visibility about 20 yards. I didn’t fancy ‘scree’ skiing which would have resulted in large scars on the base of my skis so skinned to the church then changed into my hiking boots.

The last white is the paint that I am putting on the present I have completed (except for the painting) for the person back at home all to be revealed in a few weeks time!

The sun is back

July 23, 2011   

The sun is back on the very tip of the wharf and in front of the boatshed. It is so nice not to have to walk around to the base of Brown Mountain to get a few of the suns rays! What a stunning day in South Georgia. I spent the day in bed on Friday and Saturday morning.

When I finally got up Saturday it was such a beautiful sunny day I forced myself out in my down jacket to Gull Lake. I was jealous of the boys going to Spencer Peak over Maiviken but it would have been stupid to push myself up the hills like that. Gull Lake was exhausting enough! The water at the shoreline looked like silver thread with the sun reflecting off of it.

I stopped at the top of the waterfall for lunch and looked out over the cove to base.

Gull Lake is well frozen with snowdrifts hiding the shoreline.

When I got back to base I sat in a chair in the sun for two hours in front of the boatshed. I can’t believe how dark my hair has got normally it is bleached blond from the sun but with wearing a ski hat the whole time and their not being much sun it is not california style anymore 🙁

Kitchen and messes

July 22, 2011   

This is the main kitchen in the new barracks and mess building it served five messes. The mess held three long tables extending through the entire room sitting approximately 150. There were two smaller messes in the building also a senior tradesmen’s mess and the tradesmen’s mess. The kitchen had rows of large food stoves, work benches and appliances. The main dishwashing benches with rows of sinks were either in the kitchen or the mess itself.

Laundry, fueling etc.

July 20, 2011   

In my continued attempt to sort out the field store equipment I emptied all the pockets off the jackets and put them in the laundry. This is the pile of pocket contents not too bad though I am not really into cigarette butts etc. We have industrial machines in bio security which do a great job of all the equipment.

Refuelled the jet boats so moisture wouldn’t build up in the fuel tank then took Alert out for a spin to test her engines now the transom rebuild is finished. After that it was lunch time and I had to retire to bed feeling ill. There is a virus going around base and I got it 🙁

This weeks food


The dawn was stunning this morning. Tommy borrowed my camera and took this shot through the water jug.

I was on cook and as we had ricotta cheese that came in as a treat I decided to make spinach ricotta and chicken encilades with spanish rice, refried beans, salsa and raw vegetables. The boys except Ali liked the spicy encilade sauce.

Dessert of fruit salad with lemoncillo cookies – the lemoncillo was the stuff that Maureen homemade for midwinter. For snacks I made bananna, nut and oatmeal cookies.

As there were quite a few aubergines going off I made a pasta sauce from them before they became mouldy for Rob to use tomorrow night.

As the courgettes were also going rather limp I made a pie which originally didn’t seem to go down well with the guys but Rob and Ali decided it was OK.

Meanwhile as I was on comms and it was my maintenance week Matt Boat took the boating duties of which there was quite a lot today with two reefers in the bay and transhipments from Saga Sea and Fukei Maru.

Stormy weather

July 19, 2011   

Tommy was very artistic with his bread this morning – a king penguin with an egg.

Matt Boat said the snow on the window looked like we had gone crazy with the christmas fake snow in a spray can!

The pressure dropped quickly to 975MB yesterday resulting in winds gusting to 70 knots and an average around 45 knots. Combined with snow which was blowing horizontal the visibility was quite poor. The fishing boats and reefers who had come into the bay to tranship started dragging anchor and headed out back to sea to stay away from the rocks. Needless to say we didn’t do any outside jobs 🙂 despite the Saga Sea saying they were going to deploy their pilot ladder ready for us to clear them in!! Pat decided that trying to climb a horizontal pilot ladder was a bad idea even if he could have persuaded the boating department to leave the heated office!

The red system to the ENE of us is what we experienced yesterday..

This morning we are above 1000MB but it is slowly going down again and the wind has been picking up all morning. Unfortunately we have rain today which is washing away the snow. So much for going for a skin at lunch – I will be back in the gym on the hiking bench today.

Boat school today was estimated positions, dead reckoning, leeway, course to steer and estimated time arrival. Tommy left with a headache!

Saga Sea and Frio are back in awaiting La Manche and Fukei Maru so it will be a busy day in the boating department tomorrow.