54 17'S 036 30'W. South Georgia, Southern Ocean.

Follow Matt Kenney during his deployment in South Georgia, working as a Boating Officer and Coxswain for the British Antarctic Survey.

Read Matt's posts with news, reviews and extracts from his Journals, and see photo and video posts to show you some of the work the Antarctic Survey are doing in the Southern Ocean, and also provide an insight into life on a British Antarctic research station.

Matt will also provide accounts of his work at sea and ashore on Humber Destroyer RHIBs and 11m twin jet drive Pilot vessels along side the team at the King Edward Point research facility.

Matt arrived in South Georgia on the 28th October 2010.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Picture frame

As you may be aware from some of my other posts, KEP station benefits from a well equipped carpentry workshop, and a supply of wood which we can use for personal projects.  The time here can be well spent learning a new skill or brushing up on old ones.  I have an interest in woodworking, and did a fair bit building wooden boats at Woolston maritime college.  That was a few years ago now though, and I felt it was time I started practising some of the old skills.

Sue Gregory, BAS marine biologist extraordinaire and long distance girlfriend of mine left our shores 7 weeks ago now to work a 7 week stint at sea aboard the longliner San Aspiring as a scientific observer (see blog) and to mark her departure, I wanted to put my skills in to practice and make her a nice leaving gift.  A couple of weeks prior to her leaving we had enjoyed a glorious day in the snow covered foothills to the North of Mount Hodges and she had become particularly fond of a photograph I took of us in the lee of Hodges cap.  I decided I would print the photo and hand make a frame for it (see photos)

The frame is white oak with dark hardwood inlays, mitred and butted together with a perspex glass and a scanned chart backing on which I plotted the exact location the photo was taken.  I also scribed some words of wisdom which I first read carved in to the companion way of Wander III.  It reads "Grab a chanceand you wont be sorry for a might-have-been".  Never a truer word spoken in my view.  Except perhaps "Never eat yellow snow"....

Boat School

One of the many highly skilled (sic) duties of a BAS boatman is to train other base staff in the safe use of the boats.  As in the UK, this requires a mix of practical instruction afloat and shore based classroom lessons.  Ashley and I have devised this years theory curriculum and have divided responsibility for delivering each subject equally between us.
Last week the subject was 'Buoyage' and it was my class.  I spent the morning drawing all the different kinds of buoys on the computer, printing and laminating them.  After a short introduction and refresher on the IALA systems of buoyage and how they are used, I got the guys to design their own harbour.  I laid out a channel using rope on the dinning room table and I placed a few hazards and area of interest along it.  The idea was for them to use their knowledge as a group and place the buoys where they think they should go.  It worked very well and I think everyone enjoyed it.  They may of course have learned something along the way, but its always difficult to tell when your all having a laugh!

Matt Kenney 2010.