When one of the team asks to broaden his education and experience by taking a 6 month sabbatical abroad, initiatives such as this are always well received and where possible supported. But it is pretty rare that that opportunity is to work in the Antarctic to support the British Antarctic Survey Team!
In the UK, Wayne works closely with the operations and customer services team at our Royal Wootton Bassett headquarters. He remains an invaluable member of the team and his ‘can do’ attitude makes him very popular with customers and colleagues alike.
In the Antarctic, Wayne has taken on the role as Station Support Assistant for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Team. His daily duties involve all domestic duties on the station including catering duties, waste handling, laundry and night watch checks and any other duties as deemed appropriate by the Station Management. A team of 3 Saint Helenian’s work on a 2 week day shift followed by a 1 week night shift to enable the daily maintenance of the base.
“I have also had the opportunity to visit Fossil Bluff, a small base camp, which involves working out in the field with one other person giving weather brief reports to pilots, refuelling aircraft and basic daily up keep of the camp. I have been privileged to provide co-pilot assistance (this includes having ‘a go’ at flying the plane under the pilot’s supervision – which is an awesome experience) on short one day trips to field workers delivery and/or collecting supplies. The wild life is spectacular and amazing and is one of the highlights that my time here has allowed me to enjoy. As for stories about the cold, well….there are days when you feel the cold but unbelievably there are days that feel hot….no kidding, it’s so easy to get sun burnt due to the ozone being so thin. Eye and skin protection is paramount!
Weekends bring the opportunity to snow board; do mounting climbing, boating, hiking or wildlife watching etc and so far I’ve done it all! Visiting ships are a regularly sight and opportunities to go on board is welcomed. Recently a visiting ship with researchers allowed me to go out to sea and to assist the scientist with their research”
He adds, “I have been lucky enough to experience all of the above and more and it’s with huge thanks to Tim Bloch and all at Bishopsgate for allowing me to take this opportunity to experience life in one of the most exotic places on earth. I have been made to feel that I am still very much an invaluable employee of Bishopsgate and I will undoubtedly be eternally grateful for”
Wayne returns in the Spring so watch this space for updates