King Edward Point Diary – May 2011

31 May, 2011

A month of holidays, parties and a little bit of work! The two bank holidays of course coincided with some deep depressions bringing miserable weather however, Rob, Tommy and myself scored with a high pressure bringing cold, clear and still weather for our second boat-supported holiday.

We camped for two nights next to the Hamburg Glacier with giant petrels nesting above and below us. The campfire using wood from the fishing boat wrecks helped cut the chill down until we snuggled into our sleeping bags.

The clear night sky meant Rob was able to take some stunning night time pictures. We climbed three peaks on the peninsula — two unnamed — and enjoyed views down the Nordenskjold Glacier and out to sea. The holiday was over all too quickly.

Due to a week of still cool weather the Moraine was full of pancake ice and light nilas (sea ice) introducing the boat team that came to pick us up to some ice driving. Two leopard seals were pulled out on bergy bits and were well photographed. Both were large — they looked like they had recently had a substantial feed of penguins. Having been in the water with them at Rothera I have quite a healthy respect for these fearsome creatures.

The Great White Silence, a film of original footage from Scott’s expedition, was viewed on the same day it premiered in the UK. Alastair made sure it was sent down to enjoy in the comforts of our bar. What an amazing film and how surreal it must have been for Ali to see his Great Great Uncle on film — a rare thing for our generation to see film footage of our relatives from 100 years ago.

As Tommy and Kate’s birthdays were in May they requested a combined birthday party in the form of a pirate theme. As I was on Saturday night cook it became a bit of a mission to theme the food to fit the occasion. A lot of effort was put into costumes for the night and the party went on till the wee hours of the morning.

The mid winter present (MWP) making continued with all the workshops being booked each evening. Work spaces with boxes saying “do not open — MWP” or “please don’t look in here on rounds”.

Small amounts of snow followed by warmer weather left many frustrated and my skis stayed packed away. The boys tried a few times but ended up with scree scars through the wax damaging in one case the fabric of the ski. Tommy’s attempt at snowboarding on the Greene Peninsula ended up with him stopping suddenly on a piece of tussock much to our collective amusement and I think the giant petrels watching with beady eyes!

Matt Mech welded up a fence to go alongside the wharf where the jet boats are moored. Concerns about storm tides and the vulnerability of the boats potentially leaving them high and dry are now hopefully solved.

Matt Boat and I pulled out the jet boats for servicing of the jet units, valeting and some small maintenance jobs. The surface ice had done a good job of removing any growth on the hulls so there wasn’t the mammoth jet washing needed compared to last slip.

Boat and Doc School continue every week with some very interesting topics being presented; and the inventory and maintenance system AMOS keeps on spitting out maintenance jobs. Two fishing boats came in the Antarctic Bay and San Aspiring — the latter taking Sue Gregory off station. The dreaded indents are done or being finished off and all is good in the world of KEP.

Ashley Perrin

Boating Officer