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Messages - Tom van Brits

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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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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: September 26, 2017, 01:52:21 pm »
I just caught up on the last two pages and found myself reading with a big smile on my face. I am so happy about the new vibe on the island and it only bodes well for your remaining few months.

What a pleasure reading about the Peppermint team spirit, and the positive effect it's had on your spirit too Tom. I said earlier that Gough would rise a little higher from the sea with the arrival of the new team. Maybe that's why you guys couldn't quite finish your hike ;)

Well done to the Dogs and the Angeldog for organizing the packages :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Thanks Wheelie Dog!

Yes the Island did rise, sure thing!!

Diesel pumping is on:

Here they are bringing the pipe closer to shore - we had to trow a rope which they then attached to the pipe and then manually pulled up and coupled into the diesel fuel line.

Now raining on and off - poor guys having a tough time outside doing their checks but it's good to be here!!

Tonight is the takeover - sign over function and I stood up for myself. The outgoing team does all the cooking and the incoming team needs to do all the cleaning afterwards. So I have asked since there is no medic to sign over to, to be excused from cooking and I got a task just to make a slideshow of team pictures which everyone just gave me on a stick. It is not nature pics, just team (personnel) so I imported it into lightroom last knight (around 210 pics) and wrote it like a video without music. That will apparently play in the background. Now I need to focus on catching up admin....a lot and it is almost month end and also another sort of completion report to reflect on the year's medical and food (rations) and to add some suggestions etc.

Herewith a pic:

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I did some catching up and is relieved to read that both got enough work again and it seems everything is going well and that you do not intent to use Sammy's own skin to repair that sofa  :deal:  :imaposer: :imaposer:

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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: September 18, 2017, 01:04:57 am »
Hectic day, the camera went with me all the way but I did not often get time to shoot and when I did I was rushed and did not get my setting right  :xxbah: but just realised that I still have a LOT to learn about photography and one is to be able to shoot under pressure.

The new team is like putting a pepperment in you mouth to get a fresh breath (If that makes sense - if not I'll blame it on the fact that I am really tired) We have managed to do all the flights (loads) and the only remaining before the ship leaves on the weather boy run is the scientific flight at 7am tomorrow morning.

Tonights HSE and medical speech was not even hard for me. Normally I feel a bit bewerig when I need to address a couple of people and especialy when there is the director of Oceans and coasts present and prof's and dr's but it was just 'normal' and ok. After that I though ok now a quick look at pics and hit the sack earlish but then a patient came to see me and this was a rather long consultation as I had to cross check some drug info etc. And then I got called to help with other work in the base and finally now at 11pm I can do my post and then off to dreamland.

Tomorrow I am on kitchen assist (chef assist) over and above all the other tasks....but once again - the new team looks good, sounds good, works well (always) together at this stage and Santjie is an excellent leader from what I have seen today. We did a lot of work together today i 'catching and handling' the cargo as the helli brings that in - a term only old islanders may understand.

I hope this post goes through - sorry about the bad quality pics and goodnight!!

And lastly Sam; buddy I salute you (Forum name Sam but you know who you are) I got the lucky packet from Errol as it was in his hand luggage and not like the other in the containers. Big huge thank you and appreciation for the motorcycle magazines and well as the stokkie with all the nice series and flieks on!! Baie Dankie!!  :thumleft:
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Buff and all the other dogs that were involved here; 'I salute you'!!

Touching story and sorry I have missed this totally. WD's are many peoples hero's sure thing!!  :thumleft:
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I have only heard good things about this bike. The revs would be something to get used to as I do not like revving the tits off something like in my younger days. However; go and have a look on the net and how people rave about the reliability of this machine. It is coming a long way in the Ninja 250, later 300 and also Z300 which was for some reason not selling good in SA. This is in my opinion very good value if you compare it to the 'competitions' in the market.
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: September 15, 2017, 11:21:07 pm »
Today was just cleaning cleaning cleaning and more cleaning for takeover. I pulled the short straw and was on the waste room and the guy who was supposed to help me was 'busy' elsewhere so I had to do a bit of 'voltarent and hot water bottle and a power nap' this afternoon but I am just fine now.

I do not know how many of you that read here were in the South African Army? Remember them pokken medics? You go there with a sinus and they give you a voltaren injection and then a couple of allergex in a plastic bag. Once I stepped on a tent pole and it jump up and split my eye lid in half!! I kid you not...I could not close my eye as the one part was just hanging.... What did them medics do? Give me a voltaren injection and then local anesthetic to num the eye and suture....and then when I went back a week later they wanted to jab me again so I said I'll be back later and asked one of my friends to remove the stitches back in camp never to return to them army medics. They were sadists but they were good...I have seen some of them operating and also worked with some in Afghanistan not too lang ago. (2009/10)

Well today I am not shy to use voltaren 75mg IM injection, it works a charm and I do not like pain.

DCO just told me they strated sailing from Nightingale island to our direction at 18H00 but the need to stop 2 hours en route to put some oceanographic equipment on the Ocean floor and on the way back in 3 weeks they will fish that out again....amazing these guys and a pity I will not get to sail on the SA Agalhus 2 again and therefore miss out on these oceanographers work. VERY interesting work they do!!

I did not take 1 single picture today but yearday afternoon through my clinics window and through the fly screen I got Scua love!! Unfortunately these pics are not good quality at all but it does not matter, I got the shots regardless which is special to me. The call of the male is amazing...he is so proud and goes 'bossies'! The actual deed reminds me of hide and seek......1,2,3 I'm coming! All that effort for a few seconds but ok they seems to be rather happy and afterwards they go together and both seeks a nesting place. I would so love to get that on video and all the sounds they make but unfortunately the stop doing it when they see me. So the fly screen atleast allowed me to get a few pics. They do worry me though - the area they are identifying as 'the nesting place' is where we will do a lot of helicopter work.....hope they get the memo in time!

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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: September 14, 2017, 08:43:36 pm »
PS: On the storm flags: Every time I was here I have ordered 'storm flags' but the problem is that the supply chain people does not know what it is or there is not a provider within their network to supply the correct item. So we just fly what we get and they weather quickly and get tangled around the flag poles, so I often get onto the roof to make them  fly nice....I love flags.  :thumleft:
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Ride Reports / Re: Down on the farm with the Bushlander
« on: September 10, 2017, 10:54:27 pm »
Respect to you Airguitar!

Johan jou fotos van die Karoo en bokkies is darm maar regtig mooi! As ek eendag weer kom kuier sal ek graag ook n paar mooi fotos neem, die bokkies (vernaam die lammers) is nou regtig fotogenies! Hier beweeg tans n vet lae druk deur - ek hoop hierdie reen dra in jul rigting!
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Ride Reports / Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« on: September 10, 2017, 04:42:58 pm »
It has been a good year for us looking at your photographs, and I hope that it has been at least as good for you.

Wash the camera bag well, but not too well. In 30 years' time you will enjoy a smear of mud here and there.

Thank you doc, appreciate  :thumleft:

I hope I can share some more. I am hoping for an Elephant seal to beach here on either sealers beach or a bit further down at 'Tumble down' beach.
I am keeping an ear for them as they make a unique sound which I will be able to id right away. The normally beach at the Glen and on Long beach and all basically inaccessible places from the base.
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