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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Internet Banking In Antarctica

Who would have thought about internet banking in Antarctica and the hassles one can have in transferring funds to someone else. On the Australian Stations there is nothing to spend cash on, everything is supplied. However, there is always T shirts and other garments that are usually on sale that will require payments to an account so that they can be purchased back in Australia and be ready for pickup by cargo for transport to Antarctica on the next ship or plane.

So before you leave Australia, ensure that you talk to your bank about where you are going, and the need to transfer funds to an outside account without the need of SMS security codes going to mobile phones for verification.'Cause guess what, no mobile phone coverage in Antarctica. I know they tell expeditioners you do not need cash in Antarctica, which is true, but you do need to have the ability to transfer funds for those souvenir T Shirts.

Staying Busy in Antarctica

Emperor Penguin Sculpture
One of the many challenges when working in Antarctica is not getting bored. Although we work 5.5 days a week, there are still 1.5 days of free time and after hours. Well one would think you'd be able to fill your time going on walks, photography, reading, watching movies and writing blogs.  
This of course is all true, but for a lot of the time the weather out side is not great for walks and photography, and movies and reading is good for some, but not others.  The important thing is to get into a project that not only burns up time but lessens the chance of spending to much time thinking about home and finding yourself in the bar.

As a tradesman who can work metal I have found that fashioning sculptures is a good way for me to pass time both on bad weather days and at night after work. Others on station knit, form bands, make models, make jewelery, clocks, sew, read,go to the gym and leather work to name but a few.

Something about models is that they can be fragile and getting them home can be tricky. So before you buy that "Golden Hind" wooden model, think about how you are going to pack it up to get it home, or where it is going to be displayed on station. Also, stations do not supply much in the way of materials, so bring your own if it is specialized.