I am norwegian doctor who worked as expedition doc on the Antarctic research station Troll for the summer season 2007-2008. NB: This blog is intended as a personal and ecological account from The Ice Planet - fully independent of the Norwegian Polar Institute, their official web page being: npweb.npolar.no

17 Nov 2007

Typical day?

Having only been here a few days, it's difficult to describe what a "typical day" at the station is like. This is what i did today:

0710hrs: woke up in the so called "emergency station", a small cabin/bunker with emergency supplies and survival gear (in case the main station burns down, now used as housing for 2 colleagues and me - the others being the station plumber and electrician)
0730: breakfast in the main building (that's the big red house below the bird in the picture below). We're currently 9 people here - 3 of the guys will come back from a support mission having escorted the IPY south pole traverse expedition that left Troll yesterday(see links)
0800: morning meeting, planning the day's activities.
0830: our station leader showed us the most important station infrascructure - among other things we looked at the toilets, the power station(s), the water melting station, the centralized heating system, the automated alarm systems.
1000: learned how to drive the "206" vehicle, a belt-powered vehicle for driving on snow and ice. Good fun.
1100: moved some barrels of diesel and kerosene with the "206", a small crane, and a trailer.
1300:replaced 3 kitchen propane cylinders by means of the above tools.
1400: learned how to drive an ATV - all terrain vehicle.(Had my snowmobile debut yesterday).
1500: Circled the nearby blue ice field in a snowmobile, looking for loose barrels, planks and debris, dislogded and blown several hundreds of meters across the ice during the hurricane that shook the station the week before my arrival.
1600: Dinner(fajitas..)
1700: Intro on basic crane operation and trying out some heavy machinery.
2000: Workday ends. We work 12 hour days, and take sundays off. Going to explore the nearby peaks tomorrow.

Lessons learned today: 1. 80% of the time is spent looking for things. 2. Use lots of sunblock when there is a big ozone hole above you. 3. Don't drive an ATV on loose snow.


Øystein said...
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Øystein said...

Sounds like somtehing straight out of Kim Stanley's "Antarctica". Damn I'm envious!