The week that was...
At the end of a long and usually cold week there is nothing better than a good hot meal a warm bath and a relaxing drink.
With this in mind our station plumbers decided to host a tour of the station tank house with a difference. The tank house had been transformed from its usual jungle of pipes and motors into a Hawaiian paradise with palms and ferns surrounding the spa. The walls were adorned with posters and decorative lights hung from the rafter and a beach mural had even been painted by our talented plumber Doug. Pizzas and wraps were delivered from Rockets pizza parlour and the night kicked off with a splash. The spa and sauna were cranked up and the tired and aching bodies were soothed by the warmth of the water and steam as the stereo played in the background.
After our relaxing Friday night and a rather quiet Saturday Mother Nature decided to whip up a blizzard on the Sunday leaving us station bound and wondering what we would find outside when it was all over.
Monday morning came and the blizz was still running although now only 45 knots, so work instructions were given and as the tradies were about to leave the workshop a phone call from comms came through advising they had no communications with Old Casey (the original station where a few of the old buildings still house critical infrastructure). Brian, one of the station sparkies, and Peter (station BSS) decided to find and rectify the problem. After a quick trip to the ring main building it was discovered the 100 amp circuit breaker had tripped. An attempt was made to reset the breaker in the hope it was only a minor fault, but it was not to be.
The next course of action was to follow the cable from the building to the transformer so a test could be carried out, unfortunately the blizz had buried the transformer and after a quick paper, rock, scissors the BSS found himself digging out the transformer whilst the electrician presumably laughed and took photos. After testing the cables it was discovered that they had shorted out between two transformers approx 300 metres apart. With not enough high voltage cable on station and the fact that the existing cables are now buried under tonnes of ice decisions had to be made quickly. A crew were sent off station to the Skiway to drag back a generator van with little time to spare as we were expecting a strong blizz to roll in late that day. The plan was to install the gen van as a power supply until the fault could be located or at worst until the arrival of the ship with new cables. The crew returned with the gen van in time for the dieso’s to give it a quick once over just as the blizz hit.
Today is Thursday and the blizzard is still blowing strong and is expected to continue until Saturday, the gen van is still waiting to be positioned so we can resurrect the power supply when safe to do so. After all its just another week in Antarctica....