We’ve just had a post about awesome icebreakers sailing to the farthest places of our planet and right now we are going to visit one them.
A Russian polar explorer Alexey, 39, tells about his ordinary working day at the cold pole of the Earth, the Russian Antarctic station “Vostok”. You are invited to spend his January 31, 2014 with him.
7.50 a.m. – time to wake up.
There is no mobile connection here so Alexey uses his smartphone only as an alarm clock.
There is no water supply system either, so they have to melt snow to wash…
Having washed and dressed, Alexey comes out to see this…
He lives in the “house on sledges” that ha long ago sunk deeply into the snow. To go outside he needs to walk through a tunnel dug in the snow.
Finally he is outside!
This is that very “Vostok” station – one of the loneliest and hard-to-reach places on the planet. To the right is a diesel power station that gives polar explorers light and warmth.
Interior of the main premises of the station looks like this. You can see the sculpture of Alexey Treshnikov, the man who founded the “Vostok” station.
There are three doors in the corridor to keep the premises warm. This place is called “the Broadcasting House”.
This is a kitchen.
Alexey finishes his breakfast and goes to work at the glaciological laboratory of the drilling facility 5D. This is how it looks like from the side of the station.
5D means – fifth depth. This is Pavel who’s drinking his morning coffee at work.
Alexey has a winch under control.
Cyril pumps kerosene out from the tank for collection of solids.
That very glaciological lab – the working place of Alexey.
Here he spends almost every day of the entire field summer season (December and January). He works with an ice core brought by drilling technicians.
A piece of core is cut off for analysis of its isotopic composition.
He needs to measure electrical conductivity.
A light table is used for examining the crystal structure of the ice.
Many others things are done too and finally the core is marked.
It’s packed and placed to the corewarehouse.
Work with core takes about an hour, one day is enough to process 10 cores.
Meanwhile it’s time for lunch!
In the kitchen.
After lunch they have some rest: watch TV, play billiards or surf the Internet.
At 2 p.m. they are back at work. This is a drilling assembly with new cores lifted on the surface.
Core comes to light…
… to be brought to the laboratory and everything starts over …
At 6 p.m. they announced a rush job of snow preparation.
At 7 p.m. they have dinner, then go back to work to go home only at 10…
The sun stands very low over the horizon, but no sunset is going to happen on a polar day. This hole is on the way home for Alexey.
At home he has some time for the Internet, processing results of the day, writing his thoughts. Right before going to sleep he takes a walk around the station.
11.30 – time to sleep!