Visiting the neighbors at Scott Base

Today is Friday, August 16, 2011 at approximately 0950 in the morning.

After two long days at work, I’m off again.  I love my schedule.  Let’s see what has been going on…

Work – nothing much.  Lots of vehicles checking out and going to do work on the Ice Pier.  Haven’t dispatched any calls but night shift has had to deal with several power outages.

Yesterday when walking to work, I thought I heard wind chimes.  I started looking around in an attempt to figure out where the noise was coming from.  My face was stung by ice crystals and that is when I realized that the tinkling sound I was hearing was coming from ice crystals hitting my jacket.  Nice.

So after I got to work yesterday I remembered that I was scheduled to go tour Scott Base with the FD.  SWEET!  Scott Base is the Kiwi base about 3 kilometers away from us.  All of the buildings are a bright lime green.  “A” shift and I loaded up in the van and one of the other vehicles and took off to visit our neighbors.  When we arrived, I was surprised at how small the base was.  Due to the poor visibility from the van (my window was iced over) I couldn’t see the sign that stated the population was only 13.

When we entered the base, we met up with Molly, the winter fire chief for Scott Base.  Molly is his nickname.  He said there was a long story to go along with it and after 3 seasons he was still stuck with it.  I didn’t ask anything further.  I am hoping for an explanation on an American Night *more on American Nights in a bit.

Scott Base has one main building connected by indoor walkways.  Their fire alarm system is superior to ours.  There are several outlying buildings but they aren’t often used until it is full blown summer, at least from what I understand.  The main purpose of our tour was to become familiar with the hydrant locations and their style of firefighting.  Their fire department consists of basically the entire center.  No one is an actual certified firefighter, they all go through a week of training before coming down.

After our tour, we were treated to coffee, tea and snacks.  I had tea and biscuits.  Completely amazing.  Everyone there treats each other like family.  I want to move in.  Molly and I had a long talk about the Americans he has met.  He likes the people he has met from McMurdo.  I smiled.  I’m a McMurdo person.  I felt accepted.

After coming back “home” work continued to drag on.  Vehicles checked out.  I answered them.  Then the firefighters resumed their dispatch training and I got to train them on the use of run sheets/ medievac sheets/ efoot plan sheets/ noise complaints/ etc.  Then the firefighters started acting goofy out in the bay.  Thankfully I had my camera with me and was able to catch some of their antics on film, albeit digital film.

Since it was so cold outside, we decided to take a cup of hot water and toss it in the air to see if it would crystalize and evaporate.  My pictures of the attempt didn’t turn out so great.  So, logically, we decided to turn to a darker liquid to see if it would work the same and yes, coffee, when thrown in the air in -35 degree (or colder) weather, will crystalize and evaporate.  Awesomeness.  I have learned something new every day.

I’m really rambling in this post.  I think it has to do with the fact that it was really cold out last night and I experienced an “ice cream headache” without eating any ice-cream.  Talk about a weird feeling…

Ok, so after work, Renae and I caught the shuttle to Scott Base for American Night.  On American Night, we visitors have to take off our shoes to wander through their base.  We aren’t allowed to go all over, only to a few places but they want to maintain a clean environment.  I don’t blame them.  I was glad I was wearing matching socks.   They have a small common room/bar where we watched the rugby game and enjoyed a few beverages.  They have Glenlivet.  HOORAY!  We only have Dewars.  We didn’t stay too long because Renae had to work in the morning.

So yeah, that pretty much wraps it up.  I’m kinda bummed out about my pictures not uploading on here.  And I’m sorry for rambling.  I’ll probably post a more coherent post later but for now, take care.

5 thoughts on “Visiting the neighbors at Scott Base

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