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Antarctic conservation

2 Posts tagged with the discovery tag
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Hijinks on the High Seas

Posted by Conservators Apr 29, 2013

Author: Stefan

Date: 23/04/2013

Temperature: -26 degrees

Windspeed: 13 knots

Temperature with Wind Chill: -39 degrees

Sunrise: 11.46am

Sunset: 1.56pm

 

Being down on the Ice is a difficult balance. All winter-over staff (AHT+AntNZ) have a massive amount of work to get through during the season. But the idea that a season can be acheived without a good slice of humour added into the mix is pretty naive.

 

The more I read of the explorers the more I'm facinated by what they got up to, and the dour accounts that follow. From journals of the long journey to Antarctica in the Discovery, comes an odd account of a "ducking pool": made from a wooden scaffold and sails, created aboard the ship, and through which (it seems) the men had to run a watery "Neptunes" gauntlet featuring razor blades and lather! In the games that followed Walker (a Dundee whaler) had his thumb "clean bitten to the bone." Scott's accounts of the soapy events were "The party was rather too lavishly regaled with whisky" and that the men "were a little rough towards the end"?

 

Click here for a picture of sails being rigged for Neptune's Gauntlet aboard the Discovery: http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library/pictures/catalogue/article/p83.6.2.3.10/ photo credit Anon.

 

Needless to say there has been no thumb biting at Scott Base, although April the 1st was enjoyed by planting a fake "leak" in the water treatment plant. A series of 'emergency calls' later (out of work hours), the ever professional Graeme, attended the scene with great concern, and with a very well developed Preston-ian sense of humour, enjoyed the hijinks. He has become rather fond of the leek and it's since become a mascot of the water treatment plant.

 

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Graham and his new friend. Credit: Jonny5

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Discovery Hut, Hut Point

Posted by Conservators Jan 17, 2013

Author: Karen    

Date: 13 December 2012

Temperature: -3C

Wind speed: 15 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A

 

 

 

While back at Scott Base there is some work to do at Discovery Hut, Hut Point, McMurdo Sound. Discovery Hut was built in 1902 by Captain Scott's party.  It was designed by Professor Gregory and prefabricated by James Moore before being brought south by ship.  It's almost square with a veranda running around three sides.  Unfortunately, although the walls were insulated with felt, it was still very cold and very difficult to keep warm.  This led to the ship, (Discovery) moored approx. one kilometre away being used for the first year as living quarters and the hut being used predominately as a large store room.  During the second year, occasionally a party would sleep inside, but no bunks or permanent sleeping quarters were ever erected.

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   Discovery Hut, Hut Point © AHT/Karen

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    Vince's Cross, Hut Point © AHT/Karen

 

On the hill behind Discovery Hut, a cross was erected in 1904 to the memory of George Vince who returning to the hut in a blizzard in 1902, slipped over an ice precipice to his death.

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Martin surveying the internal windows © AHT/Karen  

                                            

The Trust is planning to start conservation work on Discovery Hut during the Antarctic summer of 2013/14.  This season, one of the tasks on the work list, was for Martin and I to survey the external and internal windows in order for them to be conserved next season.  Conserving these windows will help stop snow from entering the building and causing further damage. It only takes one small crack somewhere in the hut to allow snow to enter, and very quickly you have a huge pile of snow.  There is a lot of work to be completed before the hut is secure and weather tight.