Temperature: -29.1 deg C
Wind Speed: 9 knots
Temp with wind chill: -48.9 deg C
While in Antarctica, Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators lodge at New Zealand’s Scott Base, Ross Island. Once described as ‘the best hostel in the world’, Scott Base plays host to some of the top scientists in the world as well as dignitaries such as the King of Malaysia. Many talented people are employed by Antarctica New Zealand to keep Scott Base running and to support the science events that come here to stay while they collect data, carry out observations and experiments. In summer there can be over 100 residents. During winter the Scott Base personnel consists of only 14 hardy souls. You may be familiar with us 4 AHT conservators so now we’d like to introduce you to the rest of the family.
Andrew (aka The Sheriff) is one of the engineers who keeps the base running, maintaining and repairing the boilers, air handling units, generators and fuel lines on a daily basis. Ever since as a small boy, when he heard the ‘sounds of Antarctica’ on a 45 record (now you’re revealing your age Andrew!) he has relished the opportunity to experience this continent. Andrew loves the challenge of working in isolated environments – previously he crewed super yachts, sailing half-way round the world – and he certainly makes the grade as an extreme engineer.
Jodie (JC, his second name is Curtis) is on a quest for knowledge – both of himself and the wider world. As the base carpenter his mission is to improve the base infrastructure for greater sustainability. He enjoys supporting the scientists who utilise Antarctica as their ‘experimental playground’, and in the process learning more about this continent, and consequently the world, from them. Back in New Zealand Jodie runs his own architectural-building business, and organises festivals – enjoying the gathering of the flock and spreading the good word.
Jeff (or Capt Jack the Pirate as we call him) is here for the adventure, fulfilling a dream he held as a young boy. His task is to service, repair and maintain our very durable fleet – which ranges from a chainsaw to a D6 Bulldozer – taking pride in taking care of the fleet. In the past he has honed his mechanical skills in snowfields and on super-sized sheep stations. Jeff’s Antarctic voyage is sustained by his love of the outdoor environment and the natural world, marvelling at the harsh yet beautiful continent and the vastness of this place.
Tom (the Tank, see the photo) believes world peace can be achieved through water (or more precisely reverse osmosis). As the water engineer he manages the waste water treatment (aka the P.O.O. plant) and the reverse osmosis plant – where he makes and creates fresh water from seawater. Tom enjoys the changes in Antarctica weather and the challenges it presents. A lover of wildlife and the natural environment he’s looking forward to getting back to hunting, shooting and fishing in the mountains and the bush of New Zealand.
Steve (colloquially known as Wilbur but I’m not sure why) is a veteran. He’s seen 2 full seasons and this tour of duty is his third winter. As the resident electrician he’s a bright spark and his work keeps many of our vital systems, such as heating, water and energy production on the go. Having worked and travelled all over the world he realised Antarctica was the last continent for him to conquer. He enjoys the variety offered by the job, working with, and meeting good people.
Well that’s the men of engineering at Scott Base. Our next blog will introduce you to the rest of the family.