Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Airplanes, Crevasses, and 3.14159265....

Not camping tonight, due to gale force winds forecasted tomorrow. Our tents can handle it, but there's no point, when we can just delay it until tomorrow.

A fresh delivery came in today from the Falklands, including my new BAS-issued prescription shades. They're floating around the base here somewhere. Another plane just came in, as I was walking back to my room. It's pretty cool, living at an airport - you're sitting in a quiet, pristine mountain/lake environment, and suddenly sirens and flashing lights go off and Rothera goes into airport mode. 10 minutes of activity, and then it's back to serenity.

But back to training...today, I continued my quest to pull people out of crevasses. We unfortunately timed me on this one - a full rescue took around 50 minutes, which probably means that I might as well work another 25 minutes and dig a six-foot-deep hole for my erstwhile companion. But it sounds like I'm on par for a first attempt, and I should be able to cut my time in half. I lost a lot of time retrieving a glove that had blown away, and got tangled in my ropes at one point when I suffered a total case of the Stupids. I was intensely grateful that my trainer was stuck in the crevasse at this point, so he couldn't watch me struggle my way out of my self-induced strait jacket.

Here's a picture of me after this particular episode. I may look a bit pissed here, because I was dwelling upon my damned ropes.

We then moved on to travelling on roped skidoos. Takes a bit of concentration, when you're on the rear skidoo, to travel behind a sledge that you're roped to. The sledge itself, carrying tents, emergency food, petrol, etc., is pulled by my companion/guide (Toddy, in my case, who is pictured beside the sledge below).

Anyway, I'm off to bed now. I'm reading JPod, by Douglas Coupland, and want to power through it and one or two more books before leaving Rothera. I polished off almost a hundred pages in 15 minutes - mainly because 6o of those pages were either the digits of pi, or series of random numbers. Gotta love Doug.

5 comments:

Becky said...

Damn! I thought the pi bit in the title was a clever way of saying that BAS catering is winning and you're eating lots of pie. Is there no pie, Ryan?

Ryan said...

There's a lot of puddings. The chef's name is Cyril and he likes butter. But it's the ever-present Hobnobs that will be my downfall.

Haven't seen an actual -pie- yet, but it's inevitable, really.

Cleavers said...

Dammit, you are in the bloody Antarctic and getting more English hob nobs than me. How can that be fair?

Tricia said...

Are there time zones way-down-under? Central Glacial Time perhaps? Or is it like Gander? If it's noon at your parents house, what time is it there?

Ryan said...

I did come across Hobnobs in a Britain store in an obscure Britain store northwest of London, ON. There've got to be several in Toronto. But you will pay for them. Oh, how you'll pay.

Regarding timezones, Rothera is on Atlantic time. Halley will be in the same timezone as Iceland. Most of the perimeter stations will adhere to timezones - I imagine the Scott-Amundsen station at the pole will probably use GMT.