Jan. 22, 2014 30′ WC 26′

Yesterday flashed by in a blur.  So many things happened I had no time to write it all down.  And exhaustion takes it toll.  How about a time line?  I’ll just list everything that happened and fill in the blanks later.  Questions are always welcome.  I’ll do my best to answer them.

I have found out two important things during the last 48 hours, both good and bad.  The first is that my camera is capable of shooting movies as well as stills, and I have taken several short movies since then.  The bad news is that the WordPress format which I am currently using is not equipped to show those videos.  Sigh.  I feel just a little frustrated, as I did in the beginning of the blog when I was here for two weeks unable to show the still photos.  But time marches on, and I will send video in some other fashion.  I will sadly be limited in who gets to see those videos, by who’s email I have here that I can send them to.

Onto the timeline:

1)  I left work and 5:30 am, and took a walk down to the peer again looking for Penguins.  The word overnight  was that they were having a krill -food – party and getting crazy busy over by Scott’s Hut.  On my way there I saw a dozen other people, at 6:00am!  I detoured and went to the Helipad on the far side of base.  On the way there I saw a single penguin hanging out on the rocks at the water line.  I snapped a few shots, but kept moving thinking there would be more farther from camp.

2)   6:30am and I have gone as far along the coast as the road allows, and beyond that point I could see no activity.  I  returned the way I had come, and there was the little Tuxedo still sitting on the same rock where I’d left him.  I tried the video to capture his walking around and it worked OK.  The wind was picking up, and had constant blows of at least 15MPH, so the shots look really amateurish.

3)   6:45 and I see something in the water line beneath the rock my little friend is standing on.  It’s a seal.  Seals eat penguins.  I didn’t know what to do, so I stood there for another 20 minutes taking pictures and video and rooting for the underdog…even though he was standing on top of the rock…you know what I mean.  The seal was swimming back and forth under the ledge of rock and ice coming up on either side to let the peng know he was still around.  The Antarctic Treaty forbids interference with the natural order of things, so all I could do was watch and hope.  And then I realized this little game of hide and seek could go on for hours, and I had to get ready for the first docking of the ice cutter.

4)   7:15am and back in my room.  I try to close my eyes for a little before the boat came in and we line handlers would gather to receive it.  No luck.  I was way too excited by the film and the coming vessel.

5)   9am and we gather for the preliminary training on what is expected of us.  We gather in groups at locations near the tie-down posts and await the lines to be thrown from the boat.  Then there’s a flurry of activity and then we wait again. The time it takes for the Coast Guard crew to hoist the gangplank into place is just annoying, but we hag in there.

6)   All told it was 10am to noon while we secured the boat.  Then it was home to bed.  I purposely slept till 7pm and skipped breakfast so I could get some down time before my regular shift started at 7:30pm.

7)   Todays workload was stiff.  Lot’s of running back and forth between buildings to gather small parts.  I just didn’t  want to sit at the computer during lunch to try and catch up.  I went back to my room and watched TV for the hour.

8)   Back to work, and while the morning was much more desk job, it was still too active to compose anything.

Later that morning, we gathered again to go down to the peer and release the boat.  Thank goodness that process takes far less time.  The CG already had the gangplank up and stowed away, so we just tossed the lines and they were off.

I like a busy day, but that was almost too much.







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