Archive for the ‘Base’ Category

NB – SANAE IV Telephone Number Change

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Important note – due to upgrades to the system, the telephone numbers for SANAE IV will be changing with immediate effect. The new general telephone numbers will be:

Voice: +2721 405 9450
Fax: +2721 405 9454

The Iridium satellite telephone number remains the same. (The relevant parties who need this number can find it in the DROMLAN SAR plan and COMNAP documentation. If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry, as it means you don’t need the number.)

You are more than welcome to call us at the base for a chat or to make enquiries. If calling from South Africa, normal telephone charges apply (you don’t pay for the connection to Antarctica), but remember that you are 2 hours ahead of us and therefore it is preferable if you don’t phone at 07h00 SA time. However, we’re always available when required.

Newsletter and sundry

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Yes, the much-awaited August newsletter is approved and published; download or view it on the newsletter page here.  There are some great articles by  various members of the team, covering topics ranging from the Dry Valleys to our heating and ventilation system to the Aurora Australis.  Of course, there is the usual dose of good photography and light humour.  Have fun and learn something too 😉

Our pipe problem is STILL a huge issue despite the whole team putting in a very long day’s work yesterday (until around 23h00 last night) in poor conditions.  The saga continues today – I’ll write something when I get a chance.

Sunday bloody Sunday

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

I’ve always marvelled at how dreams can seem to be prescient; you reach a critical point in the dream, waiting, for instance, for a knock on the door, and then when the knocking comes you realise that it is in the real world, at just the right time.  I’m sure that there are perfectly good explanations regarding the comparative speed of dreams versus reality, or the temporal disjunction of recollection, but I still find it fascinating when it occurs.

This morning I was working hard in the hospital, moving briskly between the emergency department and intensive care and dealing with some very sick patients.  A rather rotund gentleman with severe fluid overload was worsening in the ICU, and I suspected that he had been misdiagnosed – although he certainly did have an element of congestive heart failure, I suspected that his kidneys were to blame for the deterioration, and had asked the nurse to start a drug infusion and ring me in the on-call room as soon as the results of the urgent blood tests were available.  I climbed into the on-call bed, wrapped the blankets in a tight cocoon and was barely asleep when the phone began to ring.  Groggy, I wondered why the air-con was making such a rumbling noise… and then realised that I wasn’t in the hospital; this was SANAE IV; there was a storm wind outside making the whole base rumble and my telephone was ringing. (more…)