HazOp the First

Yesterday we continued the monumental task of setting up the gondola frame and organizing all of our equipment. We went through the basics in the morning, putting on the legs, floors, pyramids, and preparing the inner frame. Our safety officer, Luke, watched and familiarized himself with the gondola and how we work. Then, in the […]


The last of my backlogged posts. Yesterday, the first full day spent on the ice, had us BLAST-Pol first-wavers (Elio, Juan, Nick, and myself) head out to LDB, examine our highbay, and start unloading shipping containers.

Unloading required a lot of working outside, or in buildings highly exposed to outside, so we were fortunate that […]


The next installment in my backlog of posts covers two days ago, when we finally deployed to the ice. After returning from Akaroa, we were a bit surprised to find that we were scheduled to fly out the next day. Previously there had been a group that was always trying (unsuccessfully) to fly out the […]


Apologies for the many late updates, but since last time I have successfully deployed to the ice and haven’t had enough internet time for the backlog of posts.

Anyway, three days ago turned out (surprinsingly) to be the last day we spent in Christchurch. A group of us (Annamarie, Stef, Elio, Juan, Nick, and I) […]

Yet More Delay, Unintentional Pun

There continue to be weather delays preventing the trip to the ice. The slight consolation for now is that we’re not in the group that almost flies every day, but waiting for the day after. So, we have a never ending one-more-day-off. In this iteration I did very little: mostly reading and playing with my […]

Revisiting Sumner

Today is when some people with out original-but-really-a-holiday ice date were scheduled to go out. But they couldn’t because of weather. So instead of this being potentially our last day here we will be bumped to even later.

But, what really matters is that Annamarie, Stef, Juan, and I went back to Sumner to spend […]

Christchurch Hiking

Today was when we were originally scheduled to fly to the ice. But it is Labour Day, so we had a day off instead. A party of us decided to spend the day hiking in the hills around Christchurch.

Gardens, Clothing, and Ducklings

Yesterday was time to get Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing issued. Because most of that time was spent with people changing into clothes, I didn’t feel super-comfortable having a camera out. So, I didn’t take a lot of pictures.

To compensate I have a bunch of pictures taken while wandering around Christchurch. Most are from […]

So It Begins

Yesterday the first wave of BLAST-Pol folks got together in Christchurch, New Zealand. Juan and I traveled at the same time, but only shared a flight for the Los Angeles to Auckland leg. In total, it took about 20 hours of flying, and another 10 hours waiting in various airports. Nick and Elio had arrived […]