Thursday, January 26, 2006
posted 1/26/2006 10:19:00 PM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Interesting day at work today, was working outside all day in the pass where it was rather windy and chilly. High temp was 28F, low wind chill was -8F, wind gusting around 40mph in town but likely a bit higher in the pass. Seemed like I could have used a bucket and a rope as a kite sometimes. Was working with Seth on getting the last bit of fuel in one of our bulk tanks moved to the one left that has any significant amount of fuel in it. The transfer we did was kind of fun since it's not something that happens very often (every few years,) so I basically got to go figure out how to set everything up, then follow through with my plan rather than a well established routine like most of our transfers. Also helped Doc with setting up a secondary pump to help prime our pumphouse for when we have to get the last bits out of our one remaining tank. Watched a couple of the heavy shop mechanics working on one of the big electric pumps in the pumphouse, which was interesting and informative. They were aligning the pump itself with the gearbox that drives it and the motor that drives the gearbox. Learned some neat new things about precision industrial mechanics and some generally nifty little tricks.

Have tomorrow off work to make up for working the Sunday before last, so that's nice. Watched a really neat presentation on Mongolia after dinner. Lots of cool pictures, fun stories, and good information. Mongolia is a country that I've wanted to visit for a while, so it was neat getting to listen and ask questions about it. Have considered trying to work it into my travel plans for after the ice, but it doesn't seem like there's a way to smoothly integrate it without spending a whole bunch of money on airfare. After the presentation, it was off to the computer to take care of the usual emails and of course this blog post!

Update on the ship situation
So, sounds like the dive team isn't able to attach a replacement blade to the Krasin's broken prop, so right now the question is whether to remove the opposing blade to balance the prop or not. FESCO (Far East Shipping Company,) the company that owns Krasin, has been asked what they want to do and the dive team is waiting for a response. There is another Russian ship (also owned by FESCO, but operated by some travel company) in the area, can't remember it's name but it's Kapitan something-that-starts-with-K. This one is a cruise ship, but it's basically an ice breaker at heart, and fortunately it'll be available to help out with our problems for a couple days. Between this Kapitan whatever and the Krasin, we might be able to bring in one of the supply vessels relatively soon. The Palmer didn't make it in, as the people in-the-know here predicted, and the Polar Star is still on it's way down.

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