My humble home
As promised, I’ll show you a glimpse of where I live and work. There’s plenty more to tell about the station, but for now I’ll show you my room, my workplace, and where I eat and relax. Without further ado:
The rooms are quite comfortable, as you can see. There is enough storage for a reasonable amount of gear (though some of the winterers have extra personal effects stored in the warehouse for the summer) now that it’s organised to my liking. The temperature is pleasant, the bed (a king single) is comfortable, and there’s internet connectivity.
The bathroom arrangement in my building sees three people sharing a single bathroom. It’s much nicer than having a single, larger, communal bathroom because there’s plenty of room to leave your toiletries in there. It also makes Saturday cleaning duties quick and easy.
This building, attached by an enclosed, suspended walkway to the sleeping and medical quarters, is the living quarters. This building is all about food and recreation. Housed within are such delights as:
The pool table!
The dart board! (this gets a lot of use, and there are a dozen spares in the store for when they wear out)
And the library (!). Not shown is the cinema, because it was in use at the time and it’s terribly difficult to get a meaningful photo from a darkened room without annoying the movie-goers. As you can see, it’s a building designed to feed and entertain ~100 expeditioners when the need arises. It’s a cool place, no pun intended (for a change).
On to the topic of work. Up the back is my desk. In the foreground to the bottom right is my co-conspirator’s desk. One or the other of us are in here at any given time, thanks to the amount of IT-related work we have most days. It’s a comfortable enough place, and the door in the background lets the dulcet tones of the server room soothe us.
Here’s our workshop. There’s plenty of storage off to the left and right of frame, not to mention the mezzanine level. We have all manner of test equipment and tools to create or repair just about any electronic contraption. Over the winter months, there should be very few problems that we can’t deal with using our own spare parts and expertise.
Here are the radio and switch racks for the operations building. You can see the door to our workshop in the background. These radios, repeaters and switches are the main means of communication within the station.
On the right is the main operations mast, which has a variety of antennas for the radios in the building. This is just one of many masts spread around the station and the Vestfold hills. We have a few masts for various HF radio configurations, though they’re used less and less now that satellite phones are both affordable and reliable.
Speaking of satellite, the dome to the left houses our ANARESAT satellite dish. As you can see, it’s a rather large contraption made of some very high-tech materials. Due to the rocky nature of the Vestfold hills, small rocks can pelt this dome at up to 200km/h, so it’s quite an impressive structure.
Here I am sitting at the radio console. Over summer the Communications Operators (COs) are quite busy with comms around station, to field parties and with aircraft. As Communications Technicians, we also take turns manning the radios (mainly when there is no flying and few field parties) to give the COs some respite. Over winter, however, the duty falls to us as the COs will head back on the last voyage of the summer.
I hope you’ve learned a little about where I live and work. I’ll have more posts on projects, tasks, social events, etc. as the year progresses.