My blog while I work for British Antarctic Survey

Training is over…

October 12th, 2008 Posted in Training, UK

My last week in Cambridge, this week – quite a strange feeling! Since conference, the number of people to chat with around BAS HQ has dramatically increased and conversations often seem to end with a realisation that people won’t see each other again until we’re in the snow… “Right, well, I guess I’ll see you down there then…!”

Me and Karl bolting mast sections togetherIt’s also quite interesting to see what training everyone else is doing as the variety of work on the bases is becoming more and more apparent. Having finished their mast training in the first half of the week, the meteorology people (or “met babes” as they are known in standard BAS slang and yes, that includes the chaps!) seem to be playing with interesting toys and gadgetry and, as I bumped into Terri, one of the wintering marine biologists, she was just leaving to go on her chainsaw training…  to cut holes through the ice to go diving of course! 🙂

The last part of the mast training was jolly good fun in the much improved weather. Our instructors from Western Power came up to Cambridge and a couple of days were spent building a 15m mast with the same kit used down South. Once the mast was up poor old Buffy/Brad (the dummy) was wheeled out and hung off the mast for another round of rescues and intense make-sure-you-cut-the-right-rope treatment… check twice, cut once!

Cheers Chris! See you Karen! :-) With all the rescues done, the mast was taken down piece by piece and training in the UK was over for me. So, that’s it, said goodbye to Chris and Karen (who I probably won’t see until 2010!), cheerio to some of the new Rothera winterers who I’ll see arrive on base over the coming weeks and then headed home.

I’m now at leisure (yeah right!) for a couple of weeks ’embarkation leave’. Still got about a million things to do/buy/organise before I go but the important stuff now has got to be spending time with family and friends before the big off…

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