My Bedroom in Antarctica

Do you live in an Igloo?

Would you believe thats a question I have actually been asked. I am certain is was intended as a joke, but it does raise a legitimate question about how we live down here. So I thought, I will do a series of short videos about our day to day life, to show what we do and how we live in the most isolated and extreme place on earth.

We live in a specially designed building which we call “The Red Shed”. The Red Shed is built on a system called AANBUS, Australian Antarctic Building System. The walls are almost 1 meter thick and are made up four pieces of freezer wall with an air gap in between. This is unique to the Australian Antarctic Program and is great at keeping us warm inside.

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The Red Shed Mawsom

My room is number 21 and I am on the top floor over looking East Arm and one of the Wind Turbines. Our rooms are quite small, which is fine as I spend most of my spare time in the communal living areas, like the bar, pool room, dog room and around the Dart board. We have all the creature comforts in our rooms like phones, internet connection, power outlets, and a comfy single bed. You would have seen in the video that I have a Humidifier, this is because Antarctica even with all this ice around is the driest place on earth. The Humidity outside is around 20% and inside the building can drop to as low as 10% making it quite difficult to sleep at night time, so a simple way to bring a little bit of humidity into my room is to have a humidifier. This one is real nice as I can add a few drops of essential oils, which is a great way to have a few nice smells around. As there are no plants other than the our Hydroponics room, or any natural smells, our sense of smell is heightened and we can smell the slightest change in the way the wind blows, blowing the smell of the diesel generators or even when the doctor is roasting his coffee beans, everyone all over station can smell them.

As you can see my room looks just like your room back home, however I do I have a few things that are unique to Antarctica. The “Normal, Caution, Danger, Stop” sign you sore, is our Field Travel Conditions guidelines. This outlines when you are allowed to go outside. Normal is basically fine weather and all travel is ok, Caution is visibility is less than 100m, and wind is up to 40knots, you are only allowed around station limits, Danger, visibility is less than 30m, winds are above 60knots. This is a blizzard and you need permission to go outside for urgent requirements only and STOP, it’s really, really bad out and no one is allowed outside.

I also have a few signs like The Mawson Station Search Zones, Fire Hydrant locations and Building and Structures. I need this for my roles as Electrician, Fire Chief and Emergency Response Team member. As we are so isolated, if anything like a fire, or someone goes missing, you can’t call the authorities, we are it, so we are our own emergency response.

I also have a few little things from home. My little Loch Ness Monsters, I bought them in Scotland in 2012, when my wife and I were on a road trip around the UK. They travel with us everywhere. The pink one is Crazy Ness and the blue one is Cool Ness. They sat on the dash board of the Kombi on the road trip across Australia. I also have some Tibetan Prayer Flags that I bought when I was in Nepal in 2014. The prayer flags remind me of the incredible spiritual journey I had through Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet in 2014.

So that is a run down on my room. I hope you enjoyed the video and the little insight into what life is like down here. If you have any questions about Antarctica, about what I am doing here, or about life down here, please ask in the comments and I will see if I can do a video on it for you.

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

ANTARCTICA: Vlog# 1, Frozen World

G’Day, For those of you who are new here, Welcome. My name is Shane, I am an Electrician and I will be spending and entire year working in Antarctica. That does sound crazy and I guess it kind of is, but this challenge is life changing.

I have been asked a number of times now, what is it that I do in Antarctica? So I thought a great way to actually show you all is to vlog it. So this is the first episode of ANTARCTICA: Vlogs by Tatteredpassport.

As you know I am an Electrician here at Mawson Station Antarctica. Mawson is located in Australia’s Antarctic Territory in Eastern Antarctica at (67, 36S, 62, 52E). Over winter there are only 14 people on station, two electricians, two plumbers, two mechanics, one carpenter, one BOM observer, one BOM Technician, one Field Training Officer, One Doctor, One Comms Operator, One Chef, and one Station Leader. We are some of the most isolated people on the planet right now. This itself brings some very unique challenges you would not experience working any where else. Which over the course of the year, I hope to show you.

This vlog is pretty much my usual day on station. I was on call as Electrician meaning I attend any alarms that come through the paging system, I was also on Power House Observations, which has me check the power house at 0800 and 2000, (8am- 8pm). I am also the Hydroponics Master and was on Hydro Obs this week, so you get to see our hydroponics room, where we are growing some fresh vegetables

I hope you enjoy the vlog and a little bit of a tour and insight of life in Antarctica. If you have any questions please ask, I hope to do an Antarctica Q&A soon.

Thank you for stopping by Tatteredpassport, if you have enjoyed this post please share, you can also follow by simply clicking on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find Tatteredpassport on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and BEME.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Flying south for the winter

Story and photographs by Shane Ness

Antarctica’s wild nature captures the world’s imagination. This white continent caught me and now I get to join a very unique club, for those few people who have wintered over in Antarctica.

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The AAD’s A319 at Wilkins Aerodrome

Australia has been a part of the Antarctic story for 100 years. Sir Douglas Mawson infamous expeditions in the 1930’s have led the way for decades of Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) expeditioners to work in this icy, remote, extreme and beautiful continent at the bottom of the world.

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Whoop Whoop Hercules

I remember the start of my Antarctic story. I was an apprentice electrician in the 2000’s. I heard that electricians could work in Antarctica, but I felt it was out of reach for your average bloke. Little did I know that 10 years later I would be writing this story from Mawson Station Antarctica, preparing to winter over.

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Vesfold Hills Davis

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Welcome To Davis

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Davis Street Sign

Why Antarctica? I get asked this all the time. For me it is a part of the adventure, I thrive on challenging myself. The Antarctic adventure is not just bout exploring far off lands, it is about the challenges of working in such an extreme environment. The challenges of living in a small community for 12 months and the challenges of being away from my loved ones. This is going to be my biggest challenge ever.

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Davis From The Air

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Ice Berge moving

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Pan Cake Ice

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Rumdoodle from the air

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Twin Otter @ Rumdoodle

Thank you for visiting tatteredpassport, if you have liked this post please share with your friends. You can also follow me by clicking on the “FOLLOW” button or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and BEME.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

The Ethical Road Trip: Australia

The Ethical Road Trip started out as just another adventure, but grew into something that I am super proud of. I could never of imagined what I would learn on this epic journey.

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The Beginning of the adventure

Early in the planning process we decided to support a cause, but what cause? Mental Health was the obvious answer for us. We have supported beyondblue in a previous adventure and mental health is very close to our hearts. We contacted headspace, well aware of what they do and who they help. Headspace is the Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12- 25 year olds.

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Nullarbor Sunset

Young people are living in a world that is so different from when I was growing up. The pressures of online lifestyles, effects young people in a way I could never imagine. When I was at school I was bullied, but the bullying stopped at school. These days every one has a smart phone which allows the bullying to come home with you, the bullying doesn’t stop, and this is only the start. There are so many issues and levels to youth mental health.

The Ethical Road Trip saw my wife Kristy and I drive a whopping 8500km from Perth to Hobart in our 1976 Kombi. The trip took us 4 weeks and we had the time of our lives. Yes we saw some incredible places like Wave Rock, Esperance’s beautiful beaches, we crossed the Nullarbor, drove on the 90 Mile Straight, Australia’s longest straight road, visited The Great Australian Bite, drove along the Great Ocean Road, watched the sunset over the 12 Apostles, climbed a mountain and saw Tasmania’s natural beauty first hand. What we got from this journey was much more than just beautiful sites, we had time to talk, we had time to enjoy the journey, we had time to take in the experience, we fell in love all over again. A road trip is much more than a road trip, a road trip is an experience like no other, an opportunity to live your life.

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The first stop Wave Rock Hyden

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The best beaches in the world

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Australia’s Longest Straight Road

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The Great Australian Bite

Help us help headspace, you can donate via “The Ethical Road Trip” everyday hero page, or can help raise awareness by simply sharing this post and starting the conversation around mental health.

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Uluru Sunrise

If you haven’t already you can FOLLOW TatteredPassport by simply clicking the follow button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find me on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and BEME.

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Our View from the Kombi

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A perfect day at Cradle Mountain

Thank you for stopping by.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Kombi’s in Adelaide. The Ethical Road Trip

The Kombi Crew have not been able to use the sliding door of our Kombi for a week now. We have been climbing through the front door. Its been a little awkward, specially now that there are 3 of us living in the van. However we are approaching a major city and a local VW shop believes he may have the parts to repair the hinge.

South Australia and Adelaide has completely blown we me away, the city centre has some amazing buildings and is right next to the lush green rolling hills.

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Playing with shining things

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Reeds at Sunset

On The Ethical Road Trip, we are supporting Headspace  and the work that they do in Youth Mental Health. You can support headspace by simply sharing this post or by donating via our Everyday hero page.

Thank you for stopping by TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this post please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

You can also find TatteredPassport on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and BEME.
BEME: @TatteredPassport
Snapchat @TatteredPassport

The Kombi Melts, The Flies Take Over and The Door falls off AGAIN!

We wake early to a beautiful sunrise over Streaky Bay South Australia. We are quickly in the desert and it starts to get hot, I am certain the Kombi will melt, then the flies start, then the door falls off again! Argghh first day in the desert and I am knackered!

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Home Made Melts

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The Kombi and Venus Bay

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Pelicans In Venus Bay

You can help us support headspace, simply share this video or you can donate straight to headspace via our everyday hero page!

If you are having a tough time give headspace a call on:
1800 650 890
or jump on their website: http://headspace.org.au/

Go check out The Sangaman and say G’Day from Shane:
https://www.facebook.com/funindabun

Thank you for visiting TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this post please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.
You can also follow TatteredPassport on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and now Snapchat and BEME
BEME: @TatteredPassport
Snapchat @TatteredPassport

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Spectacular Sunsets on The Nullarbor.

We reach the The Nullarbor, a huge stretch of baron desert land that can both destroy your soul and take your breath away with incredible beauty. Today the Nullarbor welcomes us with a spectacular sky show. We approach our very first camp site in the desert and a treated to a road side spectacular sunset, then shortly after setting up camp, some thing amazing happens. This amazing part of the world has just gifted me something that I will talk about for the rest of my life, something that I feel seriously blest to have witnessed.

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The Kombi and the Nullarbor


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Welcome to the Nullarbor

https://instagram.com/p/8Mh-jKg5ts/?taken-by=tatteredpassport

You can help us raise awareness and much needed funds for headspace by simply sharing this post or you can donate to headspace at our Every Day Hero page, The Ethical Road Trip.

Thank you for watching TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this movie please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

You can also follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and BEME.

Mish Adventures of Mish in Kombi Confessions

G’day from Perth Western Australia, Its Friday so it means another episode of Kombi Confessions.Where I interview a bunch of amazing people all across Australia in my 1976 Kombi.

Today we have a Perth YouTuber, MotoVlogger, Photographer, Michelle from MishAdventuresofMish.

Mish is an inspirational person, chasing her dreams and living the life that she wants. Absolutely amazing.

Go check her out:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/babymicko
Twitter: @michecake
Snapchat: @Babymicko
Instagram: @Babymicko
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mishadventuresofmish

You can help us support headspace by sharing this post or by donating at our Every Day Heropage.

Thank you for watching TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this movie please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and BEME.

Wave Rock, Road Trip: Western Australia

We finally make it to Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia after the chaos with the Kombi’s door falling off! Wave Rock is a beautiful natural rock formation in a town called Hyden in Western Australia’s wheat belt region.

You can help us raise awareness and much needed funds for headspace by sharing this post or by donating via our Every Day Hero page.
Thank you for watching TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this movie please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

You can also follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and BEME.

Customising My Kombi.

Well our huge road trip is closing in fast, and I still have plenty to do to prepare the Kombi for the adventure. Today I make some new door skins, wire in some new music, paint the cupboards and even strap down the spare tyre.

Thank you for watching Tattered Passport, I hope you have enjoyed the short video. I would love to have you Follow Tattered Passport, simply click on the “Follow” button at the bottom of your screen. Please feel free to share this post with your family and friends.  You can also follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.