Over the past few months the various Waikato projects have shipped down boxes of Scientific equipment to allow them to complete their projects. Tomorrow will be the last major scheduled shipment we will be sending down including the bulk of the gear for my Bratina Island project.
When you begin to plan a project in Antarctica you need to know clearly what you want to do, how you are going to do it, how many samples you will need and what equipment you will need if anything goes wrong or breaks (you can't just go to town for a new part after all). Throw into the mix freezing temperatures and storms which can reduce your number of work days significantly and destroy equipment that would work back in NZ and you have quite a challenge on your hands.
When I planned my first trip to Antarctica I was told that once I know what samples I needed to collect that I should visualize start to finish every step in taking the samples and getting them back to New Zealand. There are silly things that you need to remember like marker pens and enough bags to carry your samples in both of which could seriously influence the smoothness of your project and are difficult to sort out once you get to Antarctica if you forget.
Above is a picture of one of the boxes with my sampling gear including a peristaltic pump, 300 sample tubes of different samples different sized bags to make sure I can organize the samples, water containers, 2 boxes of gloves, waste containers, screwdrivers, 3 rolls of electrical tape, 2 rolls of duct tape (extremely important), scissors, tweezers, tubing and 50 lure lock syringes. That is just one box I have 2 and a whole bunch of stuff already in Scott base.
Below is a picture of the rest of our gear ready to be packed away and sent down! As you can see the items we need are in the thousands and nothing can be left up to chance but thankfully we are almost ready to head down to Antarctica. Stay tuned.