Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bacon Rescue

It turns out that when all the food was offloaded from the supply ship and stored in the freezer last month, the bacon was buried in a very inaccessible spot, leaving McMurdo Station without bacon. What began as a small panic turned into a full-scale crisis, and an operation to rescue the bacon, which was buried beneath approximately 130 other crates of food, was planned and executed this past Friday. To get to it, all those crates had to be removed from the freezer and laid out outside on the ground. After the bacon was found, all 130+ crates had to be put back in the same order in which they were taken. It was a long day!

Gareth uses the Bendi indoor forklift to remove one food crate at a time. Both aisles had to be cleared to get to the bacon.

Michael and Mark each drove a pickle, a small outdoor forklift, to take the crates from the freezer dock to the outdoor area next to the freezer.

It's a tight squeeze to maneuver the Bendi inside the freezer.

A pickle retrieves another food crate from the freezer dock. The small shack on the left is the warming shack, where we occasionally took breaks to warm up.

The crates begin to pile up outside.

Finally! The bacon has been found! :-D

All the food crates sit outside. Before we put them back into the freezer, I worked with the kitchen staff to find any other food they wanted so that we didn't have to do another rescue operation.

As we were loading the crates back into the freezer, one of the pickles suddenly dumped all of its hydraulic fluid onto the ground. Due to the conservation terms of the Antarctic Treaty, a chemical spill requires a total cleanup, so the fire department, the hazardous waste department, and fleet operations all showed up to clean up the spill and tow the pickle to the shop. Fortunately, another pickle was available.

Fleet ops prepares to tow the pickle to the shop for repairs.

As the afternoon wore on, the number of crates outside slowly decreased.

Finally, the last of the crates is being loaded into the freezer! Done at last! :-D

All that for bacon.


  1. Damn fine work on you blog Joeseph. I just went and read every post. (also I'm home and not working yet) Looking forward to more installments.

  2. Thanks, Nate! I hope you're enjoying your time off work and warm temperatures. It's really quiet here now. I wish you had stayed for winter; I've got more booze than I know what to do with! ;)

  3. I'd do that for bacon, too. And Cadbury Creme Eggs.

  4. You underestimate the power of bacon, good sir.

  5. Yes, bacon is definitely worth the unloading. The spill cleanup, though... ouch.

    So, I have to ask. The freezer... is it just an uninsulated building?