Saturday, November 10, 2007

AAA Service - Antarctic Style

(from Cass)

This evening Jessica, Cory and Matt were going in town to pick up equipment and also, while in town, going to a party, hosted by Markus Horning. They had gotten about 2 miles from camp when the piston bully stopped suddenly and turned off. They looked around the vehicle and found some oil had leaked out. They decided to start up the piston bully again to move it so they could clean up the oil. Cory watched the oil leak area while Matt started the piston bully. Almost immediately Cory is waving his arms for them to turn it off – oil had started to gush out. They had to call MacOps (McMurdo Communications center) who called Penguin Ranch to notify us.

As it was Saturday night, MacOps was having trouble finding anyone who could respond to their predicament. So Paul and I launched our own rescue effort, digging out a snowmobile that had been buried in the past week of storms. Paul went off in the snowmobile to bring our crew back, while I stayed at the ranch to watch over our penguins.

The first picture shows Paul leaving to rescue our forlorn group members.

The next one shows him returning with all three team members. While we were digging out the snowmobile, Jessica, Cory and Matt were cleaning up the oil leak. Each piston bully (and each snowmobile) has a spill kit for just this kind of situation.

Since we had such nice weather, we did experiments on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. They were long days, but it was fun to observe the penguins diving.