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Messages - Tom van Brits

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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: March 18, 2018, 02:12:21 pm »
This morning the Le Lyrial sailed by and had a radio sketch with Santjie.
One of the most beautiful tourist ships you will see in these waters!

Weather was bad, raining and hazy and the ship was rather far out but I managed some reasonable shots.
Also saw the juvenile Antarctic tern playing in the water  :)
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Great idea and I would love to see the young Zog visiting by year end again!  :thumleft:
Strongs with the course and work challenges Mrs Z!
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General Bike Related Banter / Re: My new adventure bike
« on: March 12, 2018, 05:56:04 pm »
Congrats Neil and strongs for Mrs BB!  :thumleft:
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To Buy or Not To Buy / Re: Advice about coping with an Africa Twin
« on: March 06, 2018, 03:45:21 pm »
To conclude the thread, seeing I started it, let me give an update.
I decided to get a CRF 250 Rally. Will help me get back into the biking way, its light, easy to handle (compared to an AT),  light of fuel, and if I decide the adventure biking "thing" isn't what I'd hoped it was, will loose less to get rid of it all again.
Did my "first" ride on Sunday morning early(ish) - cool, roads dust free from a light shower on Saturday night. Getting used to the bike jacket was an experience in itself. Really enjoyed the bike even at running-in speeds.

Thanks to all for your inputs, much appreciated.

Sensible choice I'd say, much easier to handle and you can do some lekker trail riding on the 250. I am around 174 and have short legs. Had a lot of difficulty trying to handle a 1200 Triumph at some stage of my life on more technical sections. Left leg not as strong due to an old accident, and topped over often. Picking up a heavy bike a couple of times on a ride and the damage to the bike is not fun. Many guys fracture ankles when the bike falls over. Given your age, weight and height you have made a sensible decision. Once ver 40 the bones just doesn't mend that quick and well anymore and you are just never the same again.

Enjoy your Rally!  :thumleft:
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General Technical / Re: The Pooratech Thread
« on: March 03, 2018, 01:59:59 pm »
I always use some tie downs when I lif the bike, adjust as you lift and even if you have a tip over there is no damage.

Same here, I was about to comment when I saw your post Rob  :thumleft:
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General Bike Related Banter / Re: SA man breaks Cairo to Cape record
« on: March 01, 2018, 10:19:38 pm »
Great achievement to both the 7day Cairo to Cape and your Dad Donovan.

The endurance of doing both: Cairo to Cape having to deal with fuel, customs and other challenges and the Durbs/Jhb at speed, concentration, tyres ++

For some things like these does not makes sense, but life does not always need to make sense. I love it  :laughing4:
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Ride Reports / Re: Down on the farm with the Bushlander
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:56:23 pm »
Pragtig om die skilpaaie so te red. Welgedaan  :thumleft:
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: February 17, 2018, 08:50:36 pm »
Stunning, thanks Tom.

The local lass who does bird rehabilitation had a Giant Petrel the other day. She said it was the easiest bird to feed as he followed her around like a dog.

It was apparently very chuffed on the boat trip out to sea to be released

Yes Frank these birds are very intelligent and they know very well that we will not harm them. I have left my bag in the colony and walked down for more pics along the West coast (just a better angle on Saddle island) and when I came back one was sitting right next to my bag poking the side pocket where my lunch was in. Needless to say we do not feed the wild life but just shows you how strong these 'tube nosed' seabirds can detect scents. They love the eyes and liver of young (deceased) subantarctic fur seals but will not stop there. They serve a very important role in this ecosystem.

Herewith some more:

ps; thanks for the tin shears and scroll saw...just could not recall the English.
Today was a hard physical working day since one of our walk-in cold rooms broke....pok those boxes of frozens can get rather heavy but we did manage to move everything around (made more space in chest freezers and other walk in freezer) and tonight I can chillax with a long glass of wine.

THANK YOU once again for everyone that did contribute to sent me something to make my life more enjoyable here - I really do appreciate it!!  :thumleft:
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:41:49 pm »
Friday I need to put the ladder together. I have made 2 shacles to hang it and mad washers (drilled 84) and got the rope and everything together on a workbench. Santjie will help and organise more hands for Friday to put it together and then we need to take it down to diesel cove where I will be the first one to test it out! Nice to make things to leave behind. We can still make a lot of improvements here.

Sent from my SM-T231 using Tapatalk

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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: February 08, 2018, 10:58:21 pm »
I started with the rope ladder today and first had to remove nails from a nice plank, then split it with the circular  saw and finally cut the spars at 52cm. Got 22 in total and then drilled and sanded and paint. I do unfortunately not have enough varnish so I had to use a white primer. Now just to paint one more coat and then to finish it up sometime next week. I got a call from a concerned friend that came to hear about my planned solo  hike to the Glen and was asked to wait for a buddy. Someone that used to be on Gough as well and yes I suppose it  makes sense to be more careful as medic and the team rely on me for their medical welbeing. I can be a bit impulsive at times but I got to be more careful. Will however hike up to Goneydale tomorrow and maybe up Southpeak to the Haystack and back. I need some altetude to clear the mind and I need to take pics.

Have a great weekend

Sent from my SM-T231 using Tapatalk

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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: December 01, 2017, 12:03:16 am »
Thanks everyone!  :thumleft:

So month-end means admin, but all done. Currently raining and I am surprised that we still have internet  :peepwall: touch wood  :)

Would you believe me if I say I am getting cabin fever? I kid you not! My mind keeps wondering off to the Mountains....the green outside. So much so that I kept on making trips down to crane point. First to the food store to get some milk for the team (long life milk). I am not using milk as I am lactose intolerant but like said - an excuse to stretch the legs. Obviously always taking the camera with, just for incase. I only saw 2 Sooty Albatross and thought to take a pic or 2 to share.

Goodnight  :thumleft:
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I am so sorry to read this Mrs Zog  :-\ Not good but sometimes one got to suck it up to make a living.
I hope your situation will get better soon though, maybe even early in the New Year.
Strongs and I hope you will get at-least some quality time with the other Zog's!
Nice reading about the good news on the IRS man with a heart! Strongs! :thumleft:
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: November 28, 2017, 11:27:45 am »
I have to go now and will post later (sorry)

Here we regained strength and then the highlight of the trip as we swam through the Arch - Yes Archway at the 'The Glen'!!

The sea was calm and we waited for swell which helped both of us at this stage.
I really like these pics!!
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: November 24, 2017, 02:07:34 pm »
It is:

Blechnum palmiforme Bog fern

'A large distinctive cycad-like fern, with stems up to 1.6meter tall and 30cm in diameter, sometimes short side branches. Stems mostly erect in sheltered sites; decumbent in more exposed areas, especially in older plants'....Distribution: 'Endemic to Tristan, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough'

I have typed this (copied) from the Field Guide to the animals and plants of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, edited by prof Peter Ryan.
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: November 02, 2017, 04:58:48 pm »
How do I get there for supper on Saturday night?  Best I could manage would be Ocean Basket.   :)

Next ship leaves in 2 weeks time - the Geo Searcher and will be back just before Christmas in SA and then leaving sometime in January and return sometime in March.
The captain said before he left when I introduced Santjie on the radio to him that he will bring the teams Christmas presents from their families and I see all of them are going to make use of his offer except me. I do not really need something and think I am fairly well sorted for the rest of the contract although it is extended longer than I was initially comfy with.....passport expiring in March and it is a bit too close for comfort but nothing I can do about this. Earlier the week I had some communications with the HQ and almost thought they are going to manage to get me back in SA sooner since the medics applications are now with 2 Mil hosp for verification of medical qualifications and so on. One of the long standing agreements between the defense force/Navy and SANAP.
Best I can do (via Ri) is a pic of the lobster Rodlau....sorry I would have loved sharing!

Hi Stormer!

I am not actually 100% sure always what I am allowed to share since the communication policy of the DEA is a bit strict and I do not want to step into an uncomfortable situation.

What I can tell you though:
There is more than enough albeit some cost cutting measures. The problems does not come in wrt the quantity of the products (must add also good quality products) but rather by a miss conception of some team members (not this team) where people do not accept the management of the rations and then eat all the good (nice) stuff in the (for example) first 6 months and then left with not so nice food eg: Eat all the T bone steaks and then left with tenderized steaks.

So what we used to do and what the leadership (with the teams blessing) is currently doing is to keep the food store closed/locked. Not because we do not trust someone but then there is just no one to blame other than the medic and leader should we run into a situation. So now we have a spreadsheet with every food item, and it shows what we have on hand for the year. Then there is a formula to show us how much of each and every product we have per week for example: There is 50 weeks till take over and we have 100 bottles of Mrs balls fruit chutney so the program will show us that we have 2 bottles a week. So Monday we do the week's shopping and let's say come Friday and there is no more chutney....well sorry, wait till Monday and there will be 2 again :)

Food prep: We are 10 expeditionists, and every night 1 will have a turn to cook for the team. Prior to deployment the team had 2 weeks of 'team training' where they got to know each other and do things together like 'first aid level 2', cooking classes at 'Pic a pay school of cooking', 2 days of fire fighting, HSE and Island induction and also some sort of psychological participation/screening - support network which is called 'the wellness program'. Some environmental lectures, recycling and then a bit about the sensitive ecological island system.
So yes breakfast and lunch is basically a 'free for all' where you can help yourself to cereals and bread and at this stage we still have some eggs. The eggs gets radiated to prevent diseases like New Castle and so on, so we only get a limited amount and I have already frozen 60 doz of eggs in small bags (2 eggs per bag) So this I have started on the islands a couple of years back, break all the eggs into a big stainless dish and mix and then scoop out the amount of 2 eggs into the bags and freeze it. It works 100%! You can eat or bake it but we just use it for baking. Our eggs (for eating) will last maybe at a stretch another 2 months if we are lucky.
This is the first time ever where I see there is almost every day a combined effort to make lunch together - sometimes I will bake rolls and fry wors in a pan and like today someone else will make a baked fish dish. If I want boerewors it is the same effort to make 10 than one piece so the team is in that mindset of sharing.

Patients: I do not often see them and I have seen that it depends a lot on the activity of the specific member. That is only my own observation and not gospel that people that do not get out and do much outside will tent to have more little issues than for instance a busy person.
At worst (hope it never change although always prepared for the worst) cases is bad lacerations caused either by a knife that has slipped to a seal-bite. So what is much different to the life of a medic on the road in SA to one here is that you need to have a lot more knowledge about wounds and specialist wound care because if you do not treat a seal-bite correct the patient may (good possibility) end up with septicemia and even worse consequences.
No one can get flue here even if they try hard - it just does not happen. Everyone have runny noses outside in the field when the wind blows....deal with it (normal) I sometimes see some allergies which is seasonal because of pollen and so on  and at worst sinus.
Apart from cuts and bruises the odd ankle twist/muscle sprains and ligaments. The knees are taking a beating due to the 'up and down', some peoples hips and so on.
General (simple) things like acid reflex, headaches and sometimes even a dental case where I need to extricate the tooth if I cannot repair it with a filling (condition dependent)
Sometimes I need to remove an object from someones eye, and that is strangely one I like a lot and maybe because of the immediate relief a person have.
We do get some ear related issues (sea and damp conditions) so sometimes I need to drain an ear.
General checkups - just to make sure all ok and also some git issues like cramps on the tummy, diaree or constipation....so all easy general stuff.

I do often work through my clinic to make sure everything is working and eye through the medical files to remember the allergies of team mates. Like said; one always got to be prepared for the worse as backup is on a good day 6 days away......more realistically spoken one week.

I hope that helps but please ask any time if you want me to elaborate on something! I love sharing the life and will obviously share only with what I feel comfortable with so  no issues here!  :thumleft
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Hi Chris "flying brick"

Still no e mail redponse on the bash plate pics for NC...busy?
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: October 21, 2017, 02:51:19 am »
Thanks doc, good article!  :thumleft:

I did not even get change to finsish editing todays pics. We sorted out the pantry today and Santjie has made a formula which shows now axactly how many food items we have per week for the expedition. For example; there is 50 weeks lest and if there are 150 tins of whole peeled tomato that means that every Monday I need to bring 3 tins from the store to the pantry. This will enable us not to run out of a certain item. The store was never before so well organised.

We also had a field 'Absailing zone' orientation this afternoon by the scientists. That is just to show and familirize us with the areas they are going to work here on the island so if something do go wrong we can go out and do a proper resque without wasting time. We do however trust that it will never be needed but it is always good to be prepared.

After that I continued work till 19H00 in the store. Soon my work will be up to date and then I'll start with regular hiking and also want to fish more the following couple of months.

Enjoy your weekend!  :thumleft:
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: October 19, 2017, 02:39:42 pm »
The Scuas are cureently breeding on Gough Island and that means that you got to be extra careful as they are very good guardians of their eggs and young.
Unlike the Albatross species they spent a lot of time together and although I do not know them apart (male from female) they also work together in defending the nest.
This one is breeding close to base right next to the catwalk and I have been waiting for a change to get only one parent on or at the nest. Easy to just check one bird and not get suprised by the other one trying to skin you from behind like it happened last year!

Note the beautiful eggs - I had one go at choosing the settings because I do not want to distress the bird too much and literally went 'in and out' taking a burst of shots:

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Congrats and may you have many safe happy miles  :thumleft:

I also like the DCT idea a lot and can see why people love it so much!
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So good to do a bit catch up on the forum and to see you and the misses are just on a roll Zog!!  :thumleft:

I am sure you will find a way/solution around the problem - I still remember how you 'pimped' that cabin cruiser boat of you back in the day! Log those hours and pocket the extra time!

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