...and his girl left behind. Justin Chambers is going to Antarctica as a chef, and leaving behind all that is normal, for a whole year. Together, but apart, we will document our experiences (well, he'll give me the info verbally and I will turn that in to a blog post!!) as we live in two quite different worlds for those 12 months.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Monday 20 December

I rolled out breakfast, made up a small chafing dish of porridge, baked around 30 bread rolls and drank three cups of coffee all before starting the smoko of breakfast burritos. To make a breakfast burrito first scramble some eggs (plenty of cream and seasoning) add your favourite spicy tomato salsa and mix through, then proceed as you would with a burrito as in place the mix on a flour tortilla, add grated cheese, wrap, toast on both sides in a med to warm pan. Then serve with any number of tex mex accompaniments (sour cream, guacamole etc)........ or just as it is... plain. I made up around 60 plain ones. These were quickly demolished as were a few of the sweet slices made over the past 2 days.

The Indians down the road decided to investigate Davis and see first hand how a small community exists in the Vestfolds. Two groups of around 25 each were to arrive and spend 2 hours looking around the station and chatting to the locals. To make life easy for all involved the groups would be staggered.  First to arrive was the main Indian delegation consisting of the resupply Voyage leader, Medical officer, Lt. Commander, Petty officer, six scientists, five logistical personal, a few engineers, some construction crew, a 3rd mate and a cook. I was in the Green store grabbing some supplies for the next few days when I heard the tell tale signs of helicopters approaching. There was a small squirrel carrying 5 of the party followed by a Ka 28 (Helix-A) transporting the other 20 personnel. I placed my stores on the back of the kitchen ute and walked slowly towards the helipads. The Ka 28 was an amazing beast to watch land. With over 20,000 lb of weight being slowly lowered by two sets of counter rotating rotor blades chopping the air like a Chinese cleaver on a chicken bone, and sending out pulses of base in quick succession like a house party next door playing ‘doof doof’ music at full volume, the behemoth owned by the Indian tax payer spewed out spent air in great downward gusts creating circular plumes of dust that spread outward with gathering momentum as the hunk of metal lowered its self to the ground. I observed the spectacle whilst standing in front of the Mechanics workshop.......having a great helicopter setting down behind a large structure such as the workshop but in turn making it look only like a backyard tool shed was indeed something to behold.

I drove back down to the kitchen and proceeded to produce lunch for the working station crew. At around 2 o’clock I put up an assortment of nibbles for our guests including the toffee apples and slices, nuts and dried fruits and some tasty cheese Doritos. When the delegation arrived in the dining room after having spent the last hour or so looking around the station I proceeded to greet the familiar faces, and offer a warm welcome to those I hadn’t met on my visit to their station. I thought it fitting to offer our local home brew for their tasting................they all gave it a try. Questions were raised about the alcohol percentage, age of brew and amount drunk on base. I believe they didn’t fully understand the specialness of our liquid gold and the effort given to gain the end result. Fridgey Dave (we have a few Daves on station) volunteered in Hobart to become the brew master down here. Having over 20 years experience of home brewing in his backyard Dave spends a few hours a week with the help of volunteers to firstly make large containers of brew mix (as per the instructions of the Coopers company), cleans and sterilises used bottles, decants fermented broths into appropriate receptacles, sorts and maintains control over his stock and assets and generally does a first rate job with the help of many grateful and respectful workers. So when the beer seal is finally broken and judgement is passed over the effervescent concoction....... a lot of self pride and bias is placed in the equation.............thus it all usually tastes great. Bought for, made, and drunk by us............it’s always gonna be a winner.  It’s hard to convey this to the Indians.............so hey they can at least tell their loved ones they came to an Aussie station ate a toffee apple and drank beer (I also explained the significance of the toffee apple in relation to our childhoods.........they had never seen one). 

The next group to arrive was made mostly made up of Norwegian construction crew with a few managers thrown in for good measure. These boys appreciated both the food and also the free beer. For our Nordic cousins the liquid flowed and their tummies were filled with all that was offered. I managed to swap a glass of home brew for a can of one of their national brews “Kansa”.  It now sits on a shelf in my bedroom next to a couple of bottles of Becks obtained from a German LIDAR scientist as payment for a short back and sides.  I’ll see what sort of collection I can get down here of various beers and maybe take a night off to enjoy them sometime this coming winter. Oh and the cheese Doritos were a big hit with the Indians...........a western Bombay mix?

1 comment:

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