17th February – Day 2
Clocks were retarded an hour overnight, as we continue to head southwestwards in fine conditions and mostly blue skies. The daylight hours are starting to lengthen as we head southwards. We are now four hours behind the eastern states at the moment.
The seas have risen slightly to 2m and it is noticable that we need to keep a steady footing and follow the water around in the shower due to the ship’s movement. Throughout the day we continued to sail in slight seas and low swell and are currently at 40 08S 107 04E.
Let me introduce some other members of the voyage.
Firstly we have the ingoing Mawson wintering team consisting of doctor, chef, field training officer/storeperson, plumber, carpenter,mechanical, electrical, meteorology and communications staff. They have a long term outlook – It will be about a year before they return to Australia and they can be seen enjoying the fresh fruit and salads at mealtimes – keeping in mind that these will not be readily available all year.
The remainder of us are on the round trip voyage – just a month away from family and friends at home, fresh fruit and cafes. Two of these are ANARE members who first sailed from Fremantle to Antarctica forty years ago as members of wintering teams. Congratulations and credit to Dave McCormack and Graham Mills for remaining fit to pass the stringent medical requirements and continuing to work in the service of Antarctic programs.
We have the AAD voyage management team – Voyage leader, Deputy Voyage leader and a voyage management trainee and the helicopter crew – pilot, engineer.
A Navy Hydrography team are on board hoping to accurately obtain a bathymetric map of the Mawson harbour and surrounds.
We have the WAGS – no – it is not the ‘Wives and Girlfriends’, as the Antarctic Wives and Kinsfolk were once known, in the days when expeditioners were only the ‘Men of ANARE’. It’s the Water, Aircraft Ground Support group.
We have the refueling/resupply team, some AAD office personnel, ship-air ops communications crew and a few round trippers who projects I am yet to determine.
And lastly – but not least the ship’s Captain, officers and crew who are working 24 hours around the clock to get us and our cargo to and from Antarctica safely.
Several briefings are held for various groups throughout the day including field training (rope & navigation) for the wintering team, then a lecture followed by a movie is the program for the evening. Tonights lecture was Vostok 600 – traverse to Vostok in 1962.
This is interspersed with meal-times three times a day and the food variety and selection is of a very high standard.
I have booked the Sat 18th lecture timeslot as the ANARE Club representative. The title is ‘No Email- One female” and will be espousing the fellowship and principles of ANARE. Rod McKenzie’s poem, ANARE MAN, as printed in the History of ANARE will be a feature. I hope I can do any of his renditions justice.
Happy Birthday Big Bro! Hope you are celebrating in style.