Survival training is mandatory training that must be completed to travel off the immediate station limits. The training is conducted in groups of 6 plus a Field Training Officer and includes essential skills to work in the field, and to survive in the event things don’t go to plan.
After the two helicopter flights to get our group out to Brookes we spent the afternoon around Brookes going through some basic field skills.
When travelling on sea ice it must be drilled to measure the thickness at regular intervals to avoid an unexpected swim.. The ice must be 200mm for travel by foot, 400mm for quad bikes, and 600mm for Hagglunds. We also practiced how to use the ice axe to check the surface as you walk along. Large cracks in the ice form around the edges where the tide comes in.
The ice here was 1810mm thick. It won’t be too long before the ice breaks out – the sea ice infront of station is already closed for travel.
Unfortunately we don’t sleep in either the hut or the tent! Part of the mandatory survival gear we must carry when off station is a foam mat, bivvy bag and sleeping bag. The bivvy bag is made of nylon so keeps the moisture out but also keeps it in. The vapour from breath condenses on the material and freezes. Not the most comfortable sleep but does the job.
Day 2 is a navigation exercise to walk back to station, about 10Km. The route is planned by the group and turns are taken to conduct the navigation using map and compass.
We happened across a burst weather balloon so I followed the string to find the radiosonde. I brought the balloon (rubbish) and sonde back to station. Not a bad memento 🙂
Luckily we had a great group and didn’t get lost or have to back track due to an impassible route. It was an enjoyable couple of days and good to have completed to be able to get into the field more.
Also this week:
At work we’ve been progressing on getting some science instruments setup on the network, completion of monthly report, planning some future works at Trajer Ridge hut, and scoping an upcoming job for the replacement of a building housing the Digisonde as well as the usual support to expeditioners and routine maintenance.
In the new Digisonde facility I’ll be installing the structured cabling for the internal network and fire alarms, as well as decommissioning the 3 fibre optic cables and copper cabling that services that building and terminating them in the new one. Should be an interesting job.
Saturday night we had a band night with some of the talented musos performing. The dress was to come as a musician on genre. A great night.
Thanks for reading, Matt.