King Edward Point Diary – September 2011

30 September, 2011

A busy month at KEP for fishing and a lot of snow fell making for some great skinning at lunch times and skiing at the weekends.

I started the month aboard the Fisheries Patrol Vessel standing in for Katie on the OTEP trawling while Ali did the bird surveys. In between trawls I got quite a large amount of reading done aboard which was quite relaxing. We had a little bit of rough weather but most of the work was done that needed to be done and that was all that mattered.

Transshipments of krill continued in Cumberland Bay with large Reefers anchored in Cumberland East Bay off Hope Point. This gave us some work in the boating department acting as taxi drivers to the Government Officers in between the large annual services of the jet boat systems.

Rob, Tommy and myself had a wonderful 5 day holiday on the Barff Peninsula we worked our way from Corral to Sorling and across to Ocean Harbour. With a high pressure system the days were dingle however; this meant the nights were a tad chilly.

As we were at Sorling Beach for a pick up we decided to combine with a SAR exercise. The scenario had me supposedly with a broken leg due to a skiing accident. As it took a while to get all the SAR kit organized and it was snowing the boys decided to build me a little shelter from skis and bivvy bags. The pulk and harnesses were brought out and I was man hauled to the shore line. It was pretty comfortable in the sledge.

The massive snow fall meant we spent a few days as a base clearing doors, making the veranda into a tunnel and clearing windows of snow. The boating department spent a lot of time clearing the jet boats of several feet of snow every few days. It was a little frustrating as with a large snowfall the track had to be closed for avalanche danger and then we would get a warm air system over melting it all away before we could take advantage of it with the skis.

Pat Lurcock’s birthday party was celebrated with a 70s themed party. The group made a large effort to dress up and Sarah’s food was as tasty as ever. This was when I realized I was the only person on base born in the 70s the rest are 80s children.

Base scrub out for three days left us with a clean smelling and sparkling abode. I cleaned all the exterior windows (around 100 in total) but they were covered in salt water again only a few days later when a large storm came in.

The large storm which peppered the windows with salt water spray also picked up one of our RIBs and landed her on her side. Luckily there was only damage to the lens of one of the nav lights. A summer project will be to make some large concrete tie downs to guard against the katabatics.

Sam, Ali and myself put on crampons and made a winter ascent of Mt Duse. The snow in the gully allowed us to create a pleasant stairway instead of the normal one step up two back in the summer fine scree. Snow petrels soared around our headed as we got to the top — such a beautiful site and privilege to see them so close up.

The US Research Ship the Palmer came in for a day visit leaving us with more freshies than we had had the whole year. They were incredibly generous with more than a lettuce each we didn’t really know what to do with it all besides eat salad for breakfast lunch and dinner. A box of avocadoes meant we had to come up with more than guacamole.

The beach in front of Everson filled up with elephant seal Bulls and on Channel 6 All Stations calls about bull fights were heard throughout the month. Our first elephant seal pup was born on the point and named Pancake in homage to last years first born pup who was unfortunately steam rolled over by a Bull and killed.

A busy last month of winter before the summer crowd descends upon King Edward Point.

Ashley Perrin

KEP Boating Officer