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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Workshop

 The Casey workshop is the central hub for all tradework conducted on station. This includes plumbing, electrical, carpentry, mechanical and general trades. General trades includes us two boilermakers who are currently on station.Each trade group has their own workshop section where they repair, manufacture and modify equipment for the station. The mechanical section is of course the largest section as it needs to accommodate machinery such as the "Haggs" excavators, loaders and trucks. The mechanical section has an overhead crane which traverses the length of the shop. The mechanics have a waste oil and fuel management system and exhaust gases vent. The carpentry and plumbers sections are the next biggest as they tend to manufacture items of size for the station. The carpenters have the usual stuff like a breakdown saw bench, linnisher, radial  arm saw and a myriad of battery operated hand tools. The plumbers have a sheet metal roller, pan break folder and a guillotine. Included in the plumbers section is a spot welder and brazing equipment. They also have a huge range of spares for the stations plumbing.  The electrical and  boilermaking
sections are relatively small, in particular the boilermakers section. It really only allows for the repairs and manufacture of small items. For larger jobs such as the repairs to fire escape ladder wells and excavator buckets, we have to invade the mechanical section. This usually works out okay, but space is tight. We have the gear to weld aluminium, Stainless steel, carbon steels, and alloy steels. We have mig,tig and stick welding machines plus a plasma cutter and of course the ever popular acetylene oxy set. Although access to all the tools is via the tradies, we have had the opportunity to give welding lessons in our spare time.  It has been amazing to learn how many of the guys and girls on station want to know how to weld. To date this has only being the stick welding kind as its what most people will have at home. The workshop, just like the one at home, is way too small for the amount of work that gets done in it. As the station grows, the workshop will struggle to meet the demands of an ever growing number of maintenance issues, repairs and manufacture of goods. But, it is a credit to those who work in it now and to those of the past that have built and maintained the assets of Casey.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Are We Here...?

 A question that some of us may ponder from time to time is, "Why are we here?" I don't mean we as individuals pondering our own life's worth, I mean why are we here in Antarctica. The science, simple as that. There are a multitude of disciplines that are being studied down here at any one time. Now I'm a boilermaker, so I will not go into this area in any details. My role in all this is an operational one, and to support the endeavours of the current science program. But the whole deal about the science is explained at the bosses web sites:    and

The science block at Casey is somewhat of a "tardis."  From the outside it doesn't look much. Inside it is a myriad of labs and offices. I've being working on the contaminated sites program which has seen the removal of refuse from disused stations and tip sites. As a boilermaker I'm  there to drive machinery and to build and modify equipment. Oh yes, and to give the science team a bit of a hard time, it's part of my job description. We have now loaded all the contaminated soils onto the Xue Long. See earlier blog on the Xue Long. All that I do know is that I'm glad that I have had the privilege of working with them.

Thanks guys...!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Australia Day

 For those of you that are not Australian, Australia Day is celebrated on the 26th of January each year. It is the date that white settlers came to the Australian shores in 1788. It is usually celebrated by family get togethers around the barbeque and drinks. Here at Casey it is traditional to go for a mid summer swim followed by a game of cricket, a barbeque, and a few drinks. Our swim is conducted down at the wharf with medical and rescue personnel on standby. A maximum of 5 minutes in the water. At - 1 degrees, few hang around in the water any longer than a few minutes.
 The cricket game is typical of beach cricket that is commonly played back home in Australia, with a bunch of additional rules to accommodate the additional buildings. There is always a bunch of hecklers in the crowd who add to the other colourful characters. Of course, what game of cricket would it be without the traditional streaker and a good supply of beer to wash down the steak and salads. It was a great day which was followed up with our band playing some good aussie favourites. Cheers Australia from Antarctica...!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aurora Australis - The Ship

Most of Australia’s Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine science is conducted from the Aurora Australis, which is 94 m long and weighs 3900 tonnes. It can cut ice up to about 1.6 metres at a speed of around one to two knots through the heavier ice and up to 6 knots in the thinner ice. The ship has a trawl deck, oceanographic CTD system, and laboratory facilities designed especially for marine science research. The ship is also fitted with a heli-pad and hangar facilties and carries 2 Squirrel AS 350 helicopters.Aurora Australis was launched in 1989 and is also responsible for  resupplying  Australia's  three
Antarctic   stations   each   year.  The   Aurora
regularly sails across the Southern Ocean where storms can generate 10 metre high seas and winds of 120–150 km/h.The ship has been known to roll up to 45 degrees in big swells. In these situations the angle of the deck is far steeper than any streets in Australia.A wide range of scientific experiments are conducted from onboard laboratories. On a six week voyage, the ship's kitchen can go through 4500 eggs, 1000 kg of potatoes and 280 litres of ice cream. The ship can produce up to 45,000 litres of fresh water per day for use on board for both drinking and other uses.The ship can accommodate up to 109 passengers.

See also a previous blog from 2010 on resupply. We'll be leaving Antarctica on the Aurora early April before the winter season starts.

See also Xue Long , Chinese Ice Breaker

Friday, January 21, 2011

Xue Long (Snow Dragon)

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) is the Chinese Antarctic research vessel. Classified as a A2 class ice breaker (capable of breaking ice 1.2 metres thick), Xue Long was built at the Kherson Shipyard, Ukraine, in 1993, and originally conceived for cargo transportation in the Arctic. It was purchased by China shortly after its commissioning and modified slightly to turn it into a polar research vessel.With a length of 167 metres, a beam of 22.6 metres and a draft of 9 metres with 21,250 tons fully loaded, Xue Long is currently the largest ice-breaker operating in Antarctic waters. It is capable of sailing at 17.9 knots in open water, although its normal speed when fully loaded is closer to 13 knots.She is taking 170 quarter height containers that we filled with contaminated soils from a disused tip which closed back in the early 80's. The contaminated soils will be disposed of back in Australia in accordance with strick guidelines for such disposal. We were afforded the pleasure of a comprehensive tour of the vessel by the crew. Man, it is some piece of work. It includes a swimming pool, sauna,basket ball court, bar, lifts, and gym to name but a few of its creature comforts. Oh yes, it also sports a helicopter in a rear hanger.We were treated to their own beer called Antarktik which is very nice. We start to load her tommorrow....!

For more shots of the Xue Long go to:

See also Australia's Ice Breaker the Aurora Australis

Looking to purchase an Antarctic Image. Prints,Framed Prints,Canvas, and Acrylics at my online store Rockin' Horse Photography

My Name's Warren, and I'm Hot...!

 As you could imagine, masses of rubbish is produced each day by the expeditioners at Casey. Now there's no rubbish tip that you can go and dump this stuff and throwing it into the sea or in holes is just not on. So, we return the recyclables and non recyclables to Australia, and burn the rest in an incinerator named Warren. Warren can reach round 1000 degrees and reduces everything to ash. Food wastes from the kitchen are bagged, weighed and burnt in Warren. Poo from field trips believe it or not is weighted and burnt in Warren. The plumbers are the operators of Warren. The one thing
 that they fear the most are aerosol cans. Not only will they explode in Warren and damage the brick linings, but I am told exploding aerosol cans have shot out of Warren when the door has been opened...!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Officially the Coolist Ever TopGear Readers...!

Well there you have it. Nothing more needs to be said, except that you'll have to run out and buy a copy. Scott's taking autographs...! Anyway the Americans down here have all the big toys. At Casey we don't have anything like what's at the American base, McMurdo
Australia just doesn't have the money or resources to have big toys with balloon tyres. Ours is more  low key operation...!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Captain James Cook and a Boilermaker Named Horse

Now if your wondering where the hell I'm going to go with this blog stick around for a very brief history lesson. James (Jimmy) Cook as we all know was a great sailor, navigator and mathematician. We also know that he is credited with discovering the east side of Australia in 1770. On his return to England he was asked to look further south for a fabled great southern land. In 1772 he set off in the sailing vessel,Resolution. By early 1773 he had reached the Southern Ocean and tracking further south. By January 17 1773, he had crossed the Antarctic Circle, at the latitude of 66 degree 36" 30'. Jimmy was the first to have accomplished this feat. Unfortunately he was not able to sail further south due to the sea ice and did not go on to discover the Antarctic landmass. Jimmy in fact had two further attempts later on with no success each time crossing over the Antarctic Circle. It was not until 1819 that a sealer by the name of William Smith actually sighted the landmass of Antarctica. Making a landing, the first mate of the sealer's brig Williams was sent ashore with the Jack and claimed the land for the British crown. In doing so it was named New South Britain. It was later changed to New South Shetland. It was to provide a shelter for British traders in the liklihood things went pair shaped in South America.Now what has that got to do with Horse? Well, what took the British literally years to do, Horse crossed over the Antarctic Circle and landed in McMurdo station in just 5 hours from Hobart Australia, flying business class. You gotta love technology...!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Polar Bears - There Ain't No Bears...!

Look, without sounding patronizing, there ain't no polar bears in Antarctica! Yeh, but they are cute when shot with a 500mm lense from 200 metres away. Anyway, the point of my mutterings is the difference between the north and south polar regions. According to a boilermaker, with a bad haircut and questionable language skills, the differences are:
  1. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by an ocean. The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents;
  2. South Pole bedrock is 2836m above sea level.North Pole bedrock is 427 m below sea level;
  3. Land ice covers 98% of Antarctica. Arctic has limited land ice.
  4. Icebergs from glaciers in Antarctica are big puppies of the Icebergs. They are measured in cubic kilometres. Arctic icebergs from glaciers are more the kelvinator fridge size. They are measured in cubic metres;
  5. Antarctic sea ice mainly annual,salty and less than 2m thick. Arctic sea ice mainly multi year, low in salt and more than 2m thick;
  6. Antarctica has no land animals. All marine, whales, seals, and of course penguins plus less than 20 bird species. The Arctic has on top of the ever popular polar bear, reindeer,wolf,musk ox,hare,lemming,fox plus the marine animals, whales and seals. Over 100 species of bird. No penguins.
  7. But what should be noted by all Top Gear Australia fans, the reason why the Poms (Jeremy Clarkson from the TV show Top Gear) only conquered the North pole is that the mean temperature at the North Pole is a barmy - 18 C. The South Pole with a mean temperature of -50C is just a tad more chilly. Antarctica is the coldest place on earth, amen. See also my blog on Weather and Climate in Antarctica for more differences between the poles.
So there you have it. I still reckon an Emperior penguin could take a Polar bear...!

Looking to purchase an Antarctic Image? Prints, Framed Prints, Canvas and Acrylic.Go to my online store Rockin' Horse Photography.

Antarctic Circle - What is it?

Horse at the Antarctic Circle star pickets
Now I don't know about you, but up until I came to Antarctica, I had never given any thought to,"what is the Antarctic Circle?" I mean, everyone sort of thinks about the equator being at 0 degrees latitude, and it's roughly the half way mark on the earth. But, the Antarctic and for that matter, the Arctic circles are located at about, 66 degrees 33'. What bright spark thought up this number. It's like, "oh, lets just jam a peg in here, I'm sick of carrying all these star pickets anyway, its was bad enough pegging out that other circle up north...!" Well, I'm happy with that story. No, well the truth is that the Arctic and Antarctic circles define the latitudes from the poles where there is at least one day during mid summer when the sun does not dip below the horizon and during mid winter the sun does not rise above the horizon. Now, to piss the peg carrying boys off some more, the circles latitude are constantly moving. "Oh brother, now we gotta take all them pegs out again." The reason is that the earth "wobbles" on its axis. This makes the tilt on the axis vary thus, making the latitudes move up and down. This happens in a cycle know as the Milankovitch Cycles. They last from between 23 and 100 thousand years. Now there's plenty of time to shift the pegs because in about 10000 years, the circles will be at 68 degrees. Sigh, thank god for that...!

Looking for an Antarctic Image in Print, Framed Print, Canvas or Acrylic to purchase?
Go to my online store at Rockin' Horse Photography

Watch this Video on a Few Ice Bergs

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Odeon Picture Threatre and Meeting Room - Casey Antarctica

 When one has time out from skiing, photographic ventures, field trips, oh, and that other thing we do here, work, you can venture into the Odeon Picture theatre. Found on the second floor of the red shed on the south eastern end, it is where you can put on your favourite movie and watch it on one bloody big screen with surround sound. The leather chairs are incredibly comfortable and you may find yourself needing to rewind the show on the odd occasion. You can take all your favourite theatre foods, like popcorn, tim tams, chocolate bars, coke (that's the drink), lemonade, well you get the picture. The Odeon is also used for those boring work meetings that one has to attend on occasion. We have also used it as a training room for search and rescue equipment familiarization. My first introduction to the theatre was out of frustration from not being able to sleep in a room with other snorers, I couldn't hear myself snoring. So I would wonder down here in the middle of the night and make up my bed on the mattresses up the front of the theatre. Very nice. Yes, and as you would have it someone would decide to wonder in at some god forsaken hour in the morning wanting to do yoga with the opening line after turning on all three hundred lights in the theatre," oh, were you asleep,"  then walk out to leave you sleep, leaving all three hundred 1500watt lights on. Well at that hour of the morning it seemed like 300, 1500 watt lights...!

Bless 'em.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fire Fire Fire - Hell No...!

 In case of a fire, who do you call, the fire brigade. Well, here's ours at Casey in Antarctica. Located midtown, Casey, the fire brigade houses our fire engine Hagg (no surprise,it's red), with a top speed of a mind blowing 40kph. Can only do 15kph in peak hour traffic. The fire shed also houses a SAR (Search and Rescue) Hagg (its yellow) and SAR quad bikes. Our fire crew are specially trained by the Tasmanian Fire Service prior to arriving in Antarctica. We have our scheduled fire drills and not so scheduled fire drills. Like when one gets unintentionally too close to a fire sensor with a lighter or welding is being done in the green store. To be honest, the last place you want a fire is in Antarctica. If it burns down your accommodation, there's no where else very comfortable to sleep. If fire burnt down the power house, no heating, no power, no comms no easy access to water. In winter, you would be in real trouble as rescue from elsewhere would be a long time coming. So play save...!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Woolworths - Casey Antarctica

 Now if your wondering if a certain retailer has a commercial interest in Antarctica or that it is endorsed by certain government departments, it has not,  and is not. So, what do you do when you run out of soap, toothpaste or razors or clean sheets for your bed, or your pillow isn't to your liking, or you want two doonas not one, or you just don't like the colour scheme on your doona, you go to the cupboard on the top floor of the red shed with the woolworths sign on it. Here you will find deodorants of the roll on kind, shaving creams, toothbrushes, and all the toiletries you would find in that isle in that shop back home. As for the manchester department, you can find most of your bedding needs here also. Included are floor mats for the bathroom and hand towels. No bath towels as you are expected to bring your own.
 Soap can be a topic as the soap here is mostly of the pure soap kind, and Pears soap or Dove moisturising bars are usually not found down here, although the Dove brand did appear for a short time. If you have particularly dry skin or you just want to use your own brand, bring it yourself with supplies for the whole time your here. Same goes for toothpaste. Two major brands are used,Aim and Colgate. If you chasing chocolate bars, chips, soft drink, nibbles and snacks, their in the green store in midtown Casey...!

Laundry - Do Your Own Bloody Laundry...!

As you would have it, you do your own laundry whilst at Casey. This includes all your  personal clothes and bedding. There are 6 sets of washing machines and driers plus a drying room to dry your woollens. The laundry power is of course enviro friendly. The only challenge we have is that the machines are on a timer and won't start before 9.00am and shut down around 11.00pm. So you can't get in extra early in the morning and do that load before work. A word of advice for all you young fellas who haven't washed pure woollens before, wash 'em in cold water and hang them in the drying room. Do not tumble dry them. If you do what went in as an XL will come out a L or M. This includes your Antarctic socks and thermals. Sorry for stating the obvious, but it still happens. The  laundry also doubles as the hair dressers...!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quit Smoking - Before You Get to Antarctica

Quit smoking before you get to Antarctica. Now this really only applies to the Aussie Stations, as I can't speak for the others except say Mc Murdo (USA) where they have everything including ATM's.But for the Aussies Stations,lets face it, there are no shops down here that you can just duck off to and buy a pack if you run out. You have to buy your entire stock yourself prior to coming down. Now, lets see, that would mean at 1 pack per day at lets say a good price of $15.00 per pack X a 26 week stay, that would make it $2730 up front cost. Don't know about you but that's good money that could be spent on, lets say, booze, camera gear...! Also, like all government offices you can not smoke in or near the entrances of any of the buildings. So what do you do when there's a blizzard, or just plain miserable outside, like minus 30 C in winter? Well you get put in an isolated smokers hut, and that's where you stay. So,QUIT SMOKING...!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Free Gym Membership

Want to join a gym for free, then come to Casey in Antarctica. Our gym has all the gear you need to stay in shape and keep those kilos off that our chefs work so hard to put on you, and its all free. Just walk in anytime and help yourself to running machines, free weights, heavy bags, speed balls and much more. Located in downtown Casey in the green store and up the internal stairs. Play your favourite music whilst you pound the moving floor. Go on line now and apply to come on down at  Conditions Apply. You need to have a job here first...!

Brewing Beer - Antarctic Beer, Nothing But the Best...!

 At Casey we brew our own Lager,Draught, Stout, Black and Tan, Ginger Beer and Cider. This amounts to some 7000 bottles per year. Now I know what your thinking, what a bunch of piss pots. Well, not really when you consider that we have over summer 80 plus people here. Also, it's cheaper to bring brew kits down as cargo rather than commercial brews. Now when it comes to home brews I'm  generally not a big fan. Some home brews you drink back home are just downright horrible and should only be used as weed killer. But the beers down here are very good, especially the Black and Tan.(Another one of those stories). The brewery is headed by a brewmaster who is responsible for the actual
brewing and distribution of bottles. All of the beers,once bottled, sit on the shelf in the brewery for a minimum of 4 weeks before drinking. The bottling and caping is done by a bunch of very enthusiastic helpers pulled from the Casey community every Wednesday night. We bottle around 200 lts per week. One of the reasons our beer here is so good is partly due to the cleaning process of the bottles, and that we have a strict policy of a 4 week shelf life prior to drinking. Anyway who can stand having hundreds of bottles sitting on shelves longer than 4 weeks. Cheers...!

Weather Forcasts - Casey Antarctica

 Yep, just as we have all suspected about weather forecasting, the old dart board routine. Nothing more needs to be said about that. However, in the interests of those of us down here and go out on field trips, a very sophisticated  meteorological modeling system is used to forecast weather in all the areas that people are currently located. The models use information from realtime data, satalite data, infared data and a truck load of other data that boggles the mind. The models combined form the forecast. Needing forecasts for all groups in different localities can be a headache for the Met people because there can be in excess of 6 different parties out at one time, and spread over hundreds of square kilometres. We also forecast for planes and shipping in the area and for other countries. The weather is monitored down here around the clock when planes and shipping are in the area. So the old dart board
routine just won't cut it as blizzards can pop up very quickly and at speeds of over 180 kph, you just don't want to be out in them. Quick accurate forecasts is their business, and they do it very well...!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas in Antarctica - Well Sort of...!

Christmas down here has to work in with our resupply. As you would have it, we had christmas a few days late. But, it was a great day. I did forget to mention in my blog about my role as a boilermaker that it also included being Santa. I guess I got the gig because of my greying beard and my ownership of a pair of gold framed reading glasses. We, like most work places had a secret santa present hand out. Unfortunitely, due to airflights coming from home, some didn't get presents from home. But, the day went along great with an incredible amount of seafood and lots of laughs. The chefs as usuall blew away the crowd with their skills. Hope everyone else had a season to remember, I certainly did...! Merry (belated)Christmas from Antarctica.

Boilermaking Secrets - In Antarctica

For all you budding boilermakers, home handymen and women, welders, and anyone else who is curious about what the hell does a boilermaker such as myself do in Antarctica, well here it is. Without going into liquid metal transfer technology(welding) and metal displacement techniques (oxy cutting and basic beating the hell out of metal), there are no secrets to convey. If you want to know how to weld or build stuff, go to a technical college or google it. But,I can tell you that I have the pleasure of repairing excavator buckets, building sleds, fabricating bollards for the wharf, reshaping  bent up fire stairs and rails, fabricating boat lifting bars, pump stands,wood racks,  welding aluminium castings,stainless steel stirring stick for the brewery(most important job to date), handrails, trusses for the westwing, and the list goes on and on. I also drive the Mack Tonka truck(see previous blog on resupply) ,forklifts, front end loaders and my favourite, the skidder and container trailer.  It's a bit of a beast, and although it's designed for hauling out logs in the forest, its a great piece of kit to have down here to haul containers over terrain that is, well, bloody inaccessible to your toyota. Its articulation takes a little to get used to especially when backing a forty foot trailer. Also, no steering wheel. Just a weird little push pull bar to steer. I also help the other trades when their short handed, and as a member of the Casey community, I do kitchen duties, help bottle the beer(another story), drink the beer (another story), and supply a constant amount of eloquent insults to the electricians (which most heavy construction workers will know about) , plumbers and carpenters...! So there you have it, everything you need to know  about boilermaking in Antarctica. A multiskilled job description if I ever heard one...! 

For more boilermaking work in Antarctica see Building a Wharf in Antarctica.

If your looking for an Antarctic Image in Print,Framed Print,Canvas or Acrylic,
go to my online store at Rockin' Horse Photography

Emergency, Emergency is there a Doctor in Antarctica...!

 Are there doctors in Antarctica, I mean apart from the mered of PHd's scratching around the place in the name of science. Well, you bet there is. I really don't like hospitals after spending some spare time in a few when I was riding motor bikes. Here at Casey we have a damn fine little hospital  with operating theatre, day clinic, ward for two and always a great crowd pleaser, a dentists chair..! Not to put doctors down who have only eight days training in dentistry, but to tell you the truth, get your teeth checked before you come down...! I'm a boilermaker who is handy with a hammer and chisel  and can squeeze a tube a silastic if you feel the chair  is a little too much. But enough of that, a very lucky young
 fella had his appendix out just the other week down here and has now made a good recovery. He is already back at work. The best thing about this doctor's surgery, no appointments needed, no waiting, and no bills. Not only that, you get to have a beer with the doc after work at the bar. We have two here, Doctor John and Doctor Kate. Three cheers for the doctors...!

Welcome Back Kenny...!

 Welcome Back Kenny. Kenny who...? Kenny used to be a meteorological installation. But his time came to be put to the sword and  scraped. But, he was restored as a field hut and sent out to Mitchell plains out from Casey to serve as a shelter for travellers across the frozen and not so frozen lands of Antarctica. He is mounted on a purpose built sled and towed into place by a Hagg. He is yet to be fully finished, but he's only lacking a roof "H" vent and some creature comforts. He sleeps four and has cooking fascilities. All the work was done on volunteer time. At the official opening we all piled into Kenny to see how many could fit. Well, I don't know how many there were, but we're all here in the pic. You count 'em...!

Capital Works at Casey - Antarctica

 The capital works at Casey mainly revolves around the expansion of the west end of the accommodation block (the red shed). The extensions are modified shipping containers that are pre-wired with rooms. These are mounted on concrete beams two high by 4 across. All the positioning of the containers were done by last years wintering crew. During my time here the carpentry crew are putting the external insulation cladding and roofing on. The plumbers are also installing additional showers and toilets. The insulation on the wall is a 100mm styrene foam sheet sandwiched between aluminium. Pretty much the same as a refrigerator.  The roof is 150mm foam sheets.

We've been blessed with pretty good weather so far and work had progressed at a good pace. I've not had much to do with the works but the boys are doing a great job despite all my well intentioned boilermaking advice that has no bearing on the job at hand what so ever...!

For those of you that know the red shed already, the new cladding is different from the original. It has no external joining covers and is flat with no ribs. Very space age. The sheets are so light the boys are man handling them into position...!
The new bathrooms and toilets are actually in the old section directly above the hospital. An access doorway will join the new and old sections once all external cladding is completed...! The new rooms are small but comfortable. See old blog, "Sleeping at Casey."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Antarctic Landscapes from the Sea

This was my first experience with the IRB's Inflatable Rubber Boat. At Casey we have 4 that are used for various tasks such as refueling, rescue, research and photographic recording. They are powered by 40 and 50 hp outboards which push 4 - 5  people along at a good rate of knots. There's not a lot of room in them as we have to carry our survival packs along with other water immersion survival and rescue gear. On this particular day we had perfect weather. Observed were pods of killer whales and minke whales. We also had the pleasure of leopard seals. We spent the entire day out, having lunch at a favourite spot called Peterson Island. From a photographic point of view, it can be difficult to get that shot with 3 other big dudes in the boat plus two other IRB's running around, but they can also had to the interest factor to the pic. I mainly used my point and shoot for the landscape shots and the Canon 5D with a 500mm for close wildlife. I did find it difficult to stablize the bigger lense with movement in the boat. I did use the survival packs as a means of support. As this was my first time out, I was reasonably happy with my efforts. The one thing I would do more often is to check my lenses for water residue, especially on the water proof camera.

Watch this short slide show on A Few Icebergs

I have posted other shots of the day at