My blog while I work for British Antarctic Survey

“Your heads must be immense…”

August 14th, 2008 Posted in Training, UK

…which is apparently an Aberdonian expression and was fired at us this week to express something along the lines of “your brains must be swelling with all this new information” and seems particularly appropriate right now. That came from one of our trainers at NesscoInvsat in Aberdeen where we were sent for a day’s training on the satellite communications kit that provides our bases with their main link to the outside world.

Some of the satcom dishes at Invsat The course was quite good, quite brief for such an important system but it’s actually relatively simple, has some built-in redundancy and is hopefully rock solid. Karen and I were joined on this one by another colleague, Stacey, who’d drawn the short straw and been nominated to be trained up on the comms kit on Bird Island in addition to her penguin research on a 2.5 year stint on the island. Bird Island is a small outpost with only 4 winterers each year so everyone has to double up on duties to share the work around. Actually, Stacey’s dentistry course, paramedic training and 2.5 year stretch make my 18 months at Rothera look like a walk in the park…

Anyway, now I’m back at home for a couple of days and am in a mild state of panic as I’m getting my stuff together for sending down on the ship. I’ve been keeping a list of bits I want to take and useful things suggested by BAS colleagues but looking at it now it just seems woefully inadequate! The shipping deadline is pretty much upon me now and it’s going to be a manic weekend of bubble-wrapping and last minute shopping for bits, not helped by the Worcester Beer Festival opening tonight and me having to complete these rather important tasks in a beery haze! Oh and I’m off to the Snowdome later to give my new skis a quick spin on the ice before they get sent down too. So basically I’d better stop messing around on the computer and crack on!!

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