Resupply and storage
Preparing for resupply
Resupply is the voyage where all your commodities will arrive for the forthcoming year.
Whilst the ship is in, the station will be a hive of activity. As the chef, it is certainly one of the busiest few days you encounter in Antarctica.
Whether it's non perishable, frozen or fresh, you'll need to make appropriate space well before everything starts arriving. If you are arriving on the resupply voyage, last year's chefs should have already done this.
It entails consolidating pallets in the green store so when new food arrives it can be placed on separate pallets for storage on the racks. In the freezer and perishable containers, it's a case of moving everything up one end to allow space for the incoming stock.
Don't be too concerned, just make as much room as you can, if it doesn't all fit, you'll find room for it somewhere.
Nothing is worse than having the new food arrive and doing this at the same time. To make ready for resupply is a simple matter of leaving room for the incoming stock, which can be later sorted and packed into numerical order off the Group 15 Manifest.
Logistically, circumstances will change on each station. Bear in mind that no two resupplies are the same. Be aware that sometimes things that you are expecting don't turn up.
As the four Australian stations have developed over the past 50 years, the storage facilities for food have changed dramatically. As each station grew, the storage facilities changed along with them. Today no two stations have identical areas for storage.
Freezers are set at -18º C. There are no back up freezers, so, keep a close eye on the temperature. Any temp above -10º C, should be reported to the maintenance electrician. It is strongly recommended that the checking of all perishable storage facilities, either warm stores or freezers, be part of the stations daycare or nightwatch program, to keep regular checks on any temperature variations.
Ambient refers to outside air temperature, Many storage areas are not heated. Any commodities that do not contain water may be stored in an ambient storage area; eg, cereals, powders etc. Having these items in these conditions greatly improves their shelf life.
Warm store describes areas that are heated above +4º C. Generally, it's used to describe the areas of the station's green store which is heated to a level at which liquids will store without freezing. Warm and ambient sections are found in most green stores.