4, 5, 6 Dec 2013
I flew to Hobart on 4 Dec for AAD Predeparture training. All departing expeditioners are required to attend the pre-departure training sessions every three years to maintain currency with latest standards and procedures. Sessions covered included environmental issues, handling cargo safely, polar medicine, dealing with personal interactions and diversity amongst the group and current workplace legislation.
The environmental session involved such issues as dealing with waste, including human waste and ensuring that pest and alien plant and animal species ar not transferred to the stations “Take it new or take it clean”. In recent years the stations have encountered problems with flies, insects, and plant species being introduced and are close to completing a several year program to eradicate rats, mice, rabbits and cats at Macquarie island.
Thanks to Brett Free, John Gillies and Brian Harvey and with the assistance of Jan Adolph at the Australian Antarctic Division I was able to get a bag of Anare Sales items onto the ship for WOV (Wanted on Voyage) prior to the cargo shipping closure on 15 November. Documentation for cargo is electronically entered into the Australian Antarctic Division shipping system “called e-con” and bio-screened to ensure pests are not transported to Antarctica.
9 Dec – Final Pre-departure brief and kitting
A final pre-departure session was held for all departing expeditioners. This commenced aboard the Aurora Australis and was then completed at the Antarctic Division. This involved cabin allocation, mustering and a brief familiarisation with the ship, including entering a lifeboat. We were then taken to the Antarctic Division by bus for a final session on polar medicine, shipping procedures and safety on board. Our planned departure has been delayed until the morning of Wednesday 11 Dec and access to a smart phone or immediate email access is important as most of the communication to departing expeditioners is completed by email.
A scheduled appointment with the AAD clothing store officer ensured a satisfactory kit was received. The clothing and shoe sizing had previously been entered into the AAD online profile and Catherine, the clothing officer had the clothing ready for fitting. The cabin baggage allowance is 30 kg and each bag must not to weigh more than 15kg. We also have a survival pack weighing about 7kg with a base thermal layer, mid polar fleece layer and outer windproof layer, plus boots, hat/balaclava and gloves.