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Antarctic conservation

2 Posts tagged with the south_pole tag
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Cook, my cook

Posted by Conservators Apr 4, 2013

Author: Marie

Date: 25/03/13

Temperature: - 32C

Wind speed: 15 knots

Temp with wind chill: -49C

Sunrise: 9am

Sunset: 9pm

 

 

If you have ever seen Dead Poets Society you would remember the boys shouting 'Captain, my captain'. The title of my blog is not a joke about Captain Cook, but rather an acknowledgement of the crucial role of a cook on an expedition.

 

For historic image of Thomas Clissold making pies in January 1912 see SPRI/ http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library/pictures/

 

Shackleton, relating the Endurance's terrible journey, mentions the cook several times for his great ability to make everyones life better by combining seal fat with seal grease in the most lovely way (yes, they were badly starving).

Marie Pic 2.jpgThe cook making pies, March 2013 © AHT/Marie

 

The Terra Nova expedition cook, Thomas Clissold, was so brilliant that Scott wanted him to join the South Pole party! He was said to be the most inventive person, and he built many utensils and gadgets to make his work slightly easier (such as a mechanism to warn him when bread had risen enough in the oven). But Clissold broke a leg and stayed on Ross Island.

Marie Pic 3.jpgEnamel dish in the lab

 

Here and now, our cook Damian, is so important to everyday life, making a feast for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with limited supplies. He is also the main reason why we're going to the gym before dinner, as we need to fit into our clothes by the end of winter as badly as we need to eat some more chocolate cake. And to give an accurate idea of our wellness, I should add that Stef used to be a chef and Jaime is baking fresh bread on Sundays!

As I was conserving enamel dishes, covered with burnt sugar on the edges, I remembered Ponting's picture of the cook. And Damian was kind enough to make us a rhubarb pie for the occasion.

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Peace at last

Posted by Conservators Mar 20, 2013

Author: Jaime

Temperature: -15C

Wind speed: 10 knots

Sunrise: N/A

Sunset: N/A

 

 

With departure of the last flight last Saturday, we are finally alone here and after the frantic activity of recent weeks, a real sense of calm has overtaken both Scott Base and Mc Murdo.

jamie blog ship.jpg

Ship offload at McMurdo © AHT/Jaime

 

A year's supply of fuel has been delivered, enough for both of the bases here, and the US base at the South Pole. The container ship was here for well over a week, off-loading food and equipment 24 hours a day, and finally departing loaded with unwanted waste, materials and vehicles. There has also been a huge exodus of personnel as science events depart and the additional staff needed to keep the bases running during this time, return home.

Jamie blog SB.jpg

Spot the departing plane © AHT/Jaime

 

So now, with just 145 people over at Mc Murdo and 15 here, it is all over until the end of August, when the whole process will begin again. We all gathered outside and toasted the departing plane, as it lifted off the ice in a cloud of blown snow, turned to make a farewell pass over the base and disappeared north to the real world.