Yes, I think I can safely say that Summer is over. I haven’t left the office without a coat and hat for the last 4 days, and even when the sun is shining right on you, the wind is swirling about to find you. And it does.
The Vessel arrives today at noon, and for work reasons I will not be involved in docking it. As I have mentioned in one of the earlier blogs I was afraid I may have taken on more than I can chew with a 9 hour night shift and then handling the lines on a broken sleep schedule. That has proven to be the case. I have officially turned in my pager this morning because I will need sleep prior to the 12 hour shifts we will be working in my department over the coming 10 or 12 days. I did my job as a linesman quite well for a landlubber, and it made me sad to write the note to the Michael Davis, our Tower man and Line Supervisor, but I’m sure he’ll understand. Almost all of the other lines people are day shift. Those who are not are also not in supply, so their individual workloads will not be affected by the coming flurry of supply team activity. Still, I wish them luck, and I wish I were there.
Starting at 6pm tomorrow Elvis and I will become the best of friends because I have been assigned to the unloading of shipping mill vans at the Galley Pad. The Galley, as you know is the name of the dining facility here at McMurdo Base, and it has to receive and store all of the food not only for the coming winter staff, but for the following summer season before the next Supply ship arrives. There are fresh vegetables and fruits delivered to us on flights bringing in people and equipment all summer long, but those are small quantities and they disappear very quickly. What I will be handling will be full pallets of pretty much everything you can think of to run a kitchen. Almost all of the product that has been pulled together at our dispensary in California will be packed into large cardboard boxes made of triple thick cardboard called tri-walls. They are approximately 4′ cubes that cover the entirety of a standard shipping pallet.
These are then loaded into the mill vans two high and two across and will likely hold as many as 36 pallets each, but I’ll confirm that tomorrow when I continue the blog. The ship itself is bringing supplies to all of the departments from electrical, plumbing and carpentry to Scientific research equipment and necessary hospital supplies to my favorite, Car, Truck and Tractor parts for my Home Boys in the Vehicle Maintenance Facility. And are we ready for that! This late in the season we are running very low on some of the basics: We’re entirely out of baling wire, and down to the last case of duct tape. HAR-har-har.
More tomorrow. Not even a big bowl of ice cream will keep me from going to bed right now. Well…maybe just a crater cone of ice cream, and I’ll take it to my room.
Photos tomorrow, I promise.