Quad Biking On Sea Ice: Antarctica

Even in the most remote, isolated and extreme place on earth, there is still space to have some fun.

Living and working in Antarctica brings some unique challenges you just do not get working in capital cities or even in remote mine sites. The isolation here means we can not get parts delivered until summer, the extreme temperatures can freeze anything, and the wind has been known to even blow away the anemometer, the device that gives us the wind speed reading.

So you can imagine we are kept busy by these conditions. However you know the old proverb “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” So what do we do for fun?

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Curtis Bureaux asked a question

On station we have plenty of things to occupy our free time. In the bar area we have a dart board, pool table, table tennis and a soccer table. We also have a Gym and a climbing wall. However this week the Sea Ice in the recreation area has been opened allowing us to travel on the sea ice. We went out with the FTO (Field Training Officer) to conduct our Sea Ice Travel Training, we learnt how to measure the sea ice thickness, how to read the maps and where we are allowed to go.

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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.

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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.

Crazy Underground Mine Tour: Coober Pedy South Australia

G’Day, today we leave the Northern Territory crossing the state border into South Australia with a rough plan to make Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is a famous outback town in the middle of absolute no where. Why is it famous? Well the town is a Opal mining town and its hot, so hot that some of the residents actually live in underground homes, yep real underground homes called “Dug Outs”.

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The Ethical Road Trip

As we arrive in Coober Pedy you start to see this strange looking scenery, there are little mounds of dirt scattered across the country side, these are piles of dirt that have been sifted looking for Opals. We see a sign for “Toms Working Opal Mine Tours” and we just had to see this. We had no idea about opal mining or what we were getting ourselves into.

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Kombi at the State Border

The first thing we noticed as we entered the mine that it was nice and cool. In the Kombi it has been getting super hot and you have no escape from the heat or the flies. Down here, underground it was like it had air conditioning and there were no flies!!! We meet our tour guide Georgen a german opal miner and Coober Pedy character. We donned our hardhats and started the walk into the mine.

The tour is in a underground opal mine, that is still working to this day, Georgen works there as a miner and even showed us some opal he was mining at the time. He showed us the technique that he has worked out for him self. He even gave us a go at mining. It was hilarious to see a YouTuber attempt to use power tools. I don’t think there would be any tour any where else in Australia that would be like this one.

After we finished the tour Georgen actually invited us back to his house to have a look at a real Underground home. It was incredible to see a “real” underground home, not something prepared for tourist, a real home. Georgen explained how he dug the house out using mining equipment. The home is completely “Off The Grid” as well which is pretty cool. They have a small Diesel Generator out the front with some solar panels. They charge batteries around the house which they use to power the house appliences. The less appliences they have the less power they need to produce, its a very interesting way of life. A very “back to basic’s” way of living. Very unique to Coober Pedy.

Thank you so much for visiting Tattered Passport and for being a part of this adventure. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and BEME. You can also help us support headspace and their great work in Youth Mental Health, simply sharing this post or you can donate via our Everyday Hero Page.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out

Shane.

Arriving at Uluru: Sunset.

After a long hot drive up the Stuart Hwy in the “Red Centre” of Australia we arrive at possibly Australia’s most remarkable and most recognisable natural tourist attractions and significant aboriginal spiritual landmark Uluru. As we approach this huge monolith, I quickly understand why this is such a sort after tourist destination. Uluru stands tall, almost watching over the dessert and its people. There is just something about this rock, I look forward to tomorrow when I get to explore this place.

The Ethical Road Trip

Our Kombi Family for the next 10 days

You can help us support headspace by donating via our Everyday Hero Page of simply by sharing this post.

If you are having a tough time check out the headspace website. 

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. You can also follow Tattered Passport on, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and BEME. I love hearing about your adventures so please write them in the comments below.

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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

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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.

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Kombi Door Disaster.

Today is the day, Today we leave to drive 7000km across Australia in a 1976 Kombi. But chaos…..We haven’t even left the driveway on The Ethical Road Trip and the Kombi’s door falls off! Yes falls off! How do I fix it?

You can help us raise awareness and much needed funds for headspace by sharing this video, or you can donate 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.

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Tony’s Travels in Kombi Confessions

Welcome to the very first episode of Kombi Confessions.
Where I interview a bunch of amazing people all across Australia in my 1976 Kombi.

Today we have my good mate and fellow Travel YouTuber Tony from Tony’s Travels.

Tony is an inspirational person. He has chosen a life of travel and really lives for adventure. His YouTube Channel is incredible and a must visit.

Go check him out and Subscribe!!!
YouTube
Twitter
Instagram

You can help us raise awareness and much needed funds for headspace by sharing this posts with your friends and by donating at our Everyday Hero page.

Thank you for watching 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.

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Riding In Hagglunds: Antarctica.

I wake early to watch the sunrise over Wilkins Runway. Its 4:30am and around -10c, However it is all worth it. As I watch that sun peak over the horizon, reflecting off millions of ice crystals, I take a moment. A moment to really see where I am, How lucky I am to be here, to be here in Antarctica.

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Antarctic Sunrise: Wilkins Runway.

Wilkins Runway is built on approx. 500m of solid Glacial Ice which moves up to 15 meters a year and is the gate way to Australia’s Antarctic Programs Casey Station.

Today we return to Casey after spending a week conducting maintenance at the remote airfield.  The return trip is only 90km but can take up to 4hrs. It is a long, rough ride in one of the coolest vehicles in the World, a Hagglund. 1hr into the trip we reach the edge of the Antarctic Circle.

The very unique sign creates an incredible photo opportunity and the back drop, well that just takes your breath away. Here you get a real sense of how remote you really are, how vast the frozen continent is.

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

One incredible Sign

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

5 Days later at the Antarctic circle.

Back in the Haggs, we start the descent off the plateau, making our way back to Casey. We pass over some blue ice, taking care not to slip or slide on the super slippery blue is Joe expertly navigates the hazard.

You never know what you will see up here, this time we spot an old 44 gallon drum. The drum is an old Way Point that has surfaced, who knows where it has come from.

Descending further down the plateau you feel the temperture rise, as it gets warmer we notice snow and ice melts. Even in this All Terrain Vehicle these need to be negotiated carefully.

We cross a few of these melt streams and begin to hear radio chatter, we are close to home now. We make our wat through Penguin Pass and get our first view of the aptly named “Red Shed” where all the Caseyites live. We “Call In” to Casey Comms and are welcomed back by Tina the Comms Operator.

Thank you for watching. You if you have enjoyed this post please Like, Share and follow, you can find Tattered Passport on Facebook, InstagramYouTube or simply by clicking on the follow button at the bottom of your screen. 

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Antarctica: Casey Station, Re-Supply 2014

The yearly Casey Re-Supply is the most chaotic and busy time at the Australian Antarctic Program’s Casey Station. We have a week to completely re-stock the station with Fuel, food, parts needed for repairs and to send any scientific research projects back to Australia as well as receiving anything to do with this years projects. It is the only time in the summer season that the crew work 24hrs a day. Everyone is working super hard and doing tasks outside of their usual role on station. I am an electrician and I was driving the big old Mack Truck.

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