Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Special Report: Email System Crashes

High drama Sunday and today - the email system on board crashed something awful.

In the Commincations Centre on the Bridge there is a special handset which is used to make the connection between the Computer and satellite systems. Well, someone accidentally dropped it and some of the delicate internal mechanism got damaged. The technical people worked long and hard all Sunday afternoon to try and repair it but failed.

Then a miracle occurred. One expedition group on board is heading out to a remote site in the Prince Charles Mountains and in their kit they felt they had a piece of equipment for their communications which we could use for the patch. Last evening Gordon, the Voyage Leader and others got their heads together to work out where exactly this two kilograms of technology was in amongst the 400,000 kgs of cargo. They tracked it down to one of two steel Containers which were on the decks. They decided to try and get into the containers in the morning.

So, on Monday morning after breakfast Gordon put on his freezer suit and his big boots and gloves and with three other guys went out on to the decks; conditions weren’t unreasonable - the temperature was about 0 degrees Celsius, there was 30 knots of wind, there was hardly any visibility because of the heavy snow showers, the ships rolling wasn’t as bad as it has been in recent days. So after opening up the containers, they went scrambling about inside and after shifting a number of bags and boxes about they located the box which had the two kilogram piece of equipment. Then it was a case of putting everything back, closing up the containers and coming back inside for a nice hot cup of tea.

The technicians got onto the job quickly and we have since re-established the email link. Measures have been taken to protect this handset from further damage. The guy who is going to the Prince Charles Mountains has to have his piece of equipment when he leaves the ship at Davis - so we don’t know what’s going to happen with email after that. I’ll try and give you warning about that when we get closer to Davis.

Another hero day for Gordon. Hooray!



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