Friday, 8 August 2014

Some station life

Living in a small community on an Antarctic station involves quite a few extra community duties and there is one particular job on station that polarises expeditioners.



'Slushy' as it is known consists of being a kitchen hand to the chef for a day. It is arranged on a rotating roster which includes 19 people and is for every day of the week bar the Sabbath day (Sunday) so it comes around fairly often. It involves doing dishes, restocking anything consumable, rubbish runs, looking after the salad bar, cleaning and arranging the dining area and if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can help prepare and cook some meals.

Milking the 'Cow'


Breakfast Bar and Calorie Corner


Needs regular restocking


The 'Mess', got a pretty good view too...


It is a pretty full-on days work, always on your feet and washing an endless train of pots, pans and whisks. Many, many whisks. Despite the thousands of whisks, I find it a welcome change to the noisy workshop or cold and wind outside, I also enjoy helping prepare food and partaking in a bit of cooking if the chance comes up.

Pancakes for Smoko...

Pizza for Dinner!

As I mentioned previously we are currently a 'skeleton crew' of 20 people. Over summer this number swells greatly due to science and infrastructure programs and with all the extra people comes the need for extra accommodation.

Prepare for an acronym barrage...

Typically during summer, there can be 95+ people so the wintering team and a few select summering personnel reside in the SMQ (Sleeping and Medical Quarters) which is joined to the LQ (Living Quarters) via a convenient link-way which I will cover here soon. Majority of summering expeds call SAM (Summer Accommodation Module) or TAD (Temporary Accommodation Davis) home. If we have a great influx, OPS (Operations) also has dorm rooms set up.

SAM and TAD are cleverly constructed from insulated shipping containers and have all the creature comforts of home and are only a short walk to the LQ.

Introducing SAM the Summer Accommodation Module:



This is the largest of the extra accommodation here and comes quite well equipped!

Lounge


Laundry


Bathrooms


As mentioned before SAM is constructed from insulated shipping containers and has conveniently colour coded hallways, not implying that summering personnel need simple colours to locate their rooms or anything...







Typical 'Donga' in SAM

Next up is TAD (Temporary Accommodation Davis)



It is a bit more utilitarian than SAM but still comes quite well equipped!


TAD Donga

TAD Bathroom

*Disclaimer: All these photos were taken early in the winter hence the blinding daylight and lack of snow. The place looks substantially different now...