Cold as Ice
The headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division are in Kingston, south of Hobart, in Tasmania. Some of its most important tasks include conducting scientific research, protecting the Antarctic environment and supporting the Australian bases in Antarctica and the people who work there. When I heard that there were some employment opportunities within the division I decided to offer my services – perhaps as an official mascot, or to share my knowledge of living in cold weather conditions.
I had to undergo an arduous regime of interviews and trials as part of the application process.
First I had to train on an Antarctic ice floe.
Then I met some of the local inhabitants and they quizzed me about my cold water swimming abilities.
I was asked to list my preferences for living and working at an Australian base. My first preference would be never to meet one of these creatures in the ocean!
Even though I have my own cosy fur coat I had to try out the extra-protective clothing. This hat just wasn’t my style.
The huskies were keen to tell me all about their life in the snow and ice, before a new clause in the Antarctic Treaty meant they had to leave in 1994.
After all the conversation about extreme weather conditions I wasn’t so sure that this was the job for me. Maybe I should stick to what I know and love best…exploring the world – in comfort.
Did you know?
Antarctica is the driest, windiest, coldest place on Earth.
The Antarctic ice cap has between 60 and 70 % of all the world’s fresh water.
When the ice expands in winter it doubles the size of Antarctica and by mid-winter it is the size of one and a half USAs, two Australias or fifty UKs. That is a lot of ice!