Phil Silvestro ANARE Club Representative VOYAGE 5, Aurora Australis, 2005 – 2006
Day before departure
REPORT No. 1
This morning was beautiful, nice clear sky with 2 albatross following the ship, soaring above the water some times only centimetres above the water, and with their giant wings of 3 metres they come within metres of the ship.
The food is great on the Aurora Australis & I might come back looking like a sumo wrestler (Japanese one, you know what I mean).
The temp in Hobart was 17c, water temp 15c, at the moment we are 550km south of hobart & the air temp is 9.5c, water temp is 11.3c, because of the wind the chill factor is -4.1c. Our heading is due South to avoid some bad weather, we currently have 2 to 3 metres swell & everyone on board are feeling good.
I have been talking to a few Expeditioners about the ANARE Club & play my roll to recruit a few members. I have enrolled to take some of the activities below like social events coordinator & show some of my DVDs of my trip to Casey & rigging in Sydney, I hope that they like it.
REPORT No. 2
Hi again all.
The 2nd day the weather started a little overcast but now it is clear. At 10.00am the Captain changed course & we are now heading towards Casey. We are now also getting 4 to 5 metres swell, this is from the low pressure we are trying to avoid.
Out of 61 Expeditioners a couple are not feeling good (touch wood I’m still good). At present we are 1300 km south of Hobart, air temp is 6.8c, water temp 7.2c and the chill factor is -13.3c.
I’m trying to send some photos but we are very restricted on the size of our emails, they said I can send some photos from Casey Base station next week.
REPORT No. 3
We passed the halfway point to Casey & our current position is as shown below, we have a 4 to 5 metre swell and that is normal for this Latitude, a couple of people are still sick but the majority are going well. One thing we all do is walk funny, you lift your foot to walk and you don’t know where to put it, all depends on the wave, you may put it in front or back to keep your balance. The best way to describe it is like when you come out of the pub & you have had one too many drinks, but it is all part of the fun.
Yesterday I put my name down to give a talk or show DVDs of interest about Antarctica or other. I have got 2 DVDs, one of me working in Antarctica filming the C130 aircraft which is rare film in which I gave a copy to Antarctic Division, and the other DVD is on my work as a Rigger & Dogman, I showed them the Dogman one, some people say they liked it, others said they want me to show it again. This was a good way to introduce myself, so I was happy with that. Most of the Expeditioners know that I’m here for the ANARE Club, and I hope to get a few new members.
Sitrep for Tuesday March 21st
Position 58.16S, 134.51E, heading 230 degs, speed 13 knots, distqnce to next waypoint 808nm (ice edge at 65S 110E), Distance last 24 hours 246nm,
Weather conditions w/sw wind 28 knots, rain and sleet, clearing, air temperature +2.2c, sea temp +4.1c, sea conditions rough confused seas, moderate to heavy confused swell, Ice conditions n/a,
Remarks spirits high- all well on board.
To everyone I hope you are all well too
more to come
REPORT No. 5
Hi All, Weather forecast from down South, we had to change Heading due to a gale force 10, & wave up to 12 metres, so now we are going slow & heading North West & away from Casey. Also the weather does not look good at Casey & the Ship is unable to get in close & due to the Ice, it will probably reach 90 km from Casey & will have to pick up 42 expeditionars by Helicopter. This has set the program back & some of us are disappointed, But as the Captain said He doesn’t want to make Aurora Australis a winter Station. We can only hope that the weather changes & we can get in closer Regards Phil
REPORT No. 7
Just arrived at the Pack Ice this morning and the atmosphere on the Ship was very good. Everyone is on a high, it’s hard to explain. Friday we were trying to look for Ice bergs & didn’t see much, and this morning we are in the pack ice and it’s fantastic.
Nearly all of us had been awake since about 4am, watching the ship plough through the pack ice, under the flood lights. As the ship slowed down to a stop, we got to see the sunrise and the colour of the ice change from a blue to a snowy white and even a little yellow from the sun’s reflection. It was fantastic. Everyone was clicking their cameras at the 360 degrees view of pack ice. At about 11:15am, Deborah Barrett (from Family and Friends Association) & I were geared up to fly on the helicopter to Casey – approximately 40-45 mins of flight and amazing views.
REPORT No. 8
Hi All, For the (ANARE Club members) it was good to catch up with Cath, in which most of Casey Personnel had a good time & some want to stay longer. Sorry for no email sooner but, I didn’t get any email until I went back on the Ship, last Monday. Since then I have been little busy, I put my name for few social events as you see below + & edit a video for One of the director Virginia Mudie & Barnaby Joyce, this took little while & for me to send a message typing on one finger is a little slow. I’m also restricted now with email & I can send a photo every couple days. I will be able to send some photo from Macquarie Island, meanwhile I have to get ready for the Debate with Barnaby, Tim, Alexis, & Myself we going to meet tomorrow discuss over Breakfast, should be good fun.
REPORT No. 11
Here are some photos from Macquarie Island. Beautiful green place, & lot of wild life around the Station, we are staying here for another 2 days then on to Hobart, we been a little busy unloading cargo, most with the Helicopter because there’s is little bit of a swell & we unable to use the Barge so the Helicopters Pilots & Inflatable boats are doing a Great job, we pumped 180.000 litres of Diesel to the Station with a 50 mm hose & 1250 metres long as shown in the photos below. I hope you are well.
REPORT No. 15
I would like to thank the Aurora Australis, Tony & Crew who operated under extreme conditions, pumping fuel in big swells and trying to keep the Ship in a stable and fixed position. To all the IRB Crews for their quick efforts getting the rubber boats in and out of shore and trying to keep everybody reasonably dry. To the Pilots and Heli Crew, working under difficult conditions, at times, the boat would be pitching a few metres while the pilot was trying to land the load – very difficult – and there were many loads to land. Thanks to Shane & Andrew who made the entire journey run smoothly. A JOB WELL DONE.
We got together for the last night and thanked the crew and the kitchen staff for a great adventure.